Chapter 1

The Big Idea: Let's Get Back to the Text

Before you rush to application, get the A(a)uthor's meaning of the text right. As you think about your life as a preacher and a professor of homiletics, what are you passionate about these days?

Dr. Jeff Arthurs: First and foremost, I'm passionate about preaching the biblical text, about preaching sermons that are tied closely to a specific Bible passage. Of course most sermons are based on a biblical theme, but they often don't go far enough into the specific authorial intent. So preachers are preaching from the Bible but it's not really exactly what the author—both the little a author and the big A Author—really intended for that passage.

Can you give a specific example of what you mean?

I'll start with an example from my own preaching. I was preaching from the story of the friends who lowered the paralyzed man through the roof to get him to Jesus. When I was planning the sermon series and chose that particular text, I intended to preach on lifestyle evangelism. So I was prepared to list some principles of friendship ...

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