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What Makes Textual Preaching Unique? (Pt. 1)

And how do we use this sermon form, with its great rhetorical potential, biblically?

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This is part one in a two-part series.

Textual preaching dominated the homiletical landscape in the latter half of the 1800s and the first half of the 1900s, and remains popular in some circles today. The list of preachers who have employed textual preaching effectively, though not exclusively, includes Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Frederick W. Robertson, and Rick Warren.

At the dawn of the 21st century, when topical preaching and expository preaching get most of the press in America, what is the role of textual preaching? That question can be answered only after defining what textual preaching is.

A definition of textual preaching

The question about what constitutes textual preaching resembles the question about who killed John F. Kennedy. Even the experts disagree. Some homileticians distinguish it from expository preaching, while some view it as a type of expository preaching or even equate it with expository preaching. Others argue that the length of the passage to be preached determines ...

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