Why is expositional preaching particularly relevant for people in postmodern times?
Some people today claim that expositional preaching is irrelevant for postmodern people. “People today need narrative and conversation and dialogue and drama! They don’t need expositional preaching.”
In fact, expositional preaching is particularly relevant for postmodern people:
- Expositional preaching unfolds the multi-faceted riches of Scriptural truth in a way that corresponds to the kind of diversity that postmoderns love to celebrate. The Bible is not a set of philosophical abstractions, it’s a collection of narratives, poetry, songs, letters, history, laws, and prophesies. And the Bible is diverse not only in its literary form, but in its content: it contains bitter lament, exultant joy, romantic love, the rise and fall of empires, tragedy, deceit, oppression, rebellion, deliverance, celebration, and every imaginable facet of human life and experience. Expositional preaching should highlight this rich literary and existential diversity, which should be particularly satisfying to postmodern sensibilities.
- Expositional preaching demonstrates and proves that the Word of God is not merely propositional, it’s effectual (Isa. 55:10-11). Postmoderns say that even if there were such a thing as objective truth, we could never truly grasp it because we cannot see beyond our own perspectives. But expositional preaching rightly responds to these claims by asserting the clarity and applicability of Scripture to all its hearers. Not only that, but as a preacher faithfully expounds God’s Word, God willuse it to transform people’s hearts: to bring them to submit to God, to delight in his Word, to lovingly obey him, and to humbly worship him. Expositional preaching is particularly relevant to postmoderns because it proves that God’s Word not only asserts propositions, it transforms lives.