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9Marks Explained : A Letter From Mark Dever

Biblical and Systematic Confusion Yields Gospel Delusions

The difference between biblical theology and systematic theology is like difference between my wife recounting a conversation she had with someone and my recounting such a conversation. Read more >

Preach to the Ignorant, the Doubtful, and Sinners

I often hear the question, "how do you apply the text in an expositional sermon?" Read more >

A Conversational Approach: Will it Preach?

“Conversation” is one of the buzzwords in the twenty-first century church. It has very positive connotations, to be contrasted with less amicable words like “debate,” “argument,” “bickering,” “fighting,” “commanding,” and “condemning”. One only has to look at the front and back covers of Doug Pagitt’s Preaching Re-imagined to see the perceived difference between a monologue and a conversation. Read more >

Where Does Your Congregation Turn For Help?

My wife and I were on a marriage retreat with twelve couples. The men and the women were painfully but honestly working through the failures in their marriage. The small group leaders for the retreat were then instructed to help the couples think about how the gospel applies to their marital weaknesses. Afterwards, I sat down and debriefed with the small group leaders and this is what I got: "It was the slowest part of the weekend." "People just didn’t know what to say." Read more >

Preach to the Non-Christian, Christian, and Church Member

To whom do preachers preach? I recently pulled several books about preaching off the shelf and discovered that this question is rarely addressed. Preachers seem far more concerned with tweaking their style. Still, a few pastors are giving attention to the audience, and they tend to focus on two segments of the population: the unchurched and postmoderns. Gordon-Conwell president James Emery White, pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, said at one time that he explicitly targets unbelievers. He put it this way in a 1999 interview: Read more >