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How the Text Can Style the Sermon

An Interview with Haddon Robinson

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PREACHINGTODAY.COM: When we first learn to preach, we need to get a form we pour our sermons into, such as a three-point outline. But as we mature in our preaching, we gain the ability to break out of a mold that can get us into a rut. One of the best things we can do is to let the text form the sermon, instead of vice versa. What skills are required to pull thatoff?

HADDON ROBINSON: One thing a thoughtful preacher wants to do is understand the text. You can talk about exegesis, and it can sound cold. Sometimes when people think of exegesis, they think of analyzing words and phrases. But basically what you're trying to do when you exegete a text is to really understand it — understand its flow of thought, how the author is developing thatthought. So when I come to didactic literature, such as Romans or Galatians, I analyze how the thought develops because there tends to be a logical flow. I get to a parable and I can't do that. The danger is to go to an epistle and see that ...

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