Expository Preaching with Especial Reference to the Epistle of James
The Biblical World
By the REv. R. DE ~Ir'TT MA IL ARY, Lenox, Mass. ALL true preaching is expository; and any other kind, whatever it may be, is not preaching. An ethical essay, a pious exhortation, a holy entertainment of anecdotes, with or without a peg on which to hang the moral; a lecture about biblical criticism, a religious on-looker's view of passing events, may, by an elastic canon of exclusion, be tolerated in the pulpit, but we should separate in our thought such performances from the idea of preaching.
... idea of preaching. That alone is a true sermon which is a mouthpiece of the oracles of God. He alone is a true preacher who heeds the injunction, Preach the Word, and so, in a sense, it is true that all preaching is expository; an exposition, or setting forth, of the Scriptures, a showing forth of the meaning of the Word of God and its bearings on human life, knowledge, belief and conduct. The most humble untutored attempt to set forth the Scriptures is a better sermon than the finished, ethical lecture not interwoven with the text of the Sacred Word, as the light is brighter which comes through glass with a flaw in it than it is when it comes through the most richly stained window. Preaching, whatever it may have become, is only true to its original norm and pattern when it opens the Scriptures. This was what Christ did on that road going down to Emmaus, and the hearts of his two auditors "burned within them" as he expounded the Word. This was what Paul did in the synagogues, " opening and alleging." Preaching in the apostolic age had this sole and exclusive characteristic. Generally, then, it may be affirmed that preaching, if it is to sound a true note, must be expository; specifically, however, we have in use a queer and rather humiliating phrase, "expository 277