Practical or Doctrinal Sermons?

The Biblical Preaching Blog has a post up that decries how some seek to break the practical from the theological in sermons.

He tells the story of a preacher who said:

I am going to leave the theological instruction to your faculty here, but today I just want to be practical!

Theory and practice words written on the chalkboard

Theory and practice words written on the chalkboard

The author of the post, Peter Mead, disagrees with the sentiment and states:

People need to understand that the most theological or doctrinal passages in their Bible have real-life relevance to them. People need to recognize that instruction purporting to be practical and relevant but lacking a solid biblical grounding is inherently weak.

I understand the preacher wanting to leave the people with something practical that they can use. However, Mead is right, all of your presenting should have a solid theological foundation. You must be practical, but you better be theological as well.

This reminds me of something Charles Brooks said, “If God Said it, It is relevant.” I agree with Mead, there can be no distinction between the practical and the theological.

Now there is a danger to present the theological without making any practical application. That is truly a danger. That is very problematic, but the alternative is not to attempt to preach a practical message without any theological connections. Such would not be a sermon at all.



Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

Tagged with:
Posted in blog, Planning, Preaching

Leave a Reply

Follow Us on Twitter Click Here