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Lifeblood of Preaching

Why emotions matter

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A sermon's "cardiovascular system" or "bloodstream" is its emotive flow.

Every counselor knows that what we feel is often more important than what we think, and in consequence the emotive cardiovascular system of a sermon is certainly no less important than the conceptual skeleton. Indeed, cardiovascular disease, in sermons as in people, causes more fatalities than broken bones do.

When the truth communicated in preaching is only thought to be true but not felt to be true, we have not heard the full gospel. The Bible does not tolerate the separation of the head from the heart. The heart has its reasons. Felt truths are not to be despised. Preaching involves a kind of passionate thinking. Sometimes the preacher is giving conceptual expression to what the hearer had previously only felt to be true; but sometimes the preacher is expressing as a felt truth something the hearer had previously only thought to be true. Both tasks are equally important, and for both a healthy cardiovascular system ...

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