When it comes to Scripture, put your energy into preaching it

by Mr. Sheehy

It’s natural to ask how effective the careful exposition of the Bible could possibly be in a culture that is becoming more and more averse to authority, particularly religious authority. But consider the advice of nineteenth-century Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon, who famously said:

There seems to be to have been twice as much done in some ages in defending the Bible as in expounding it, but if the whole of our strength shall henceforth go to the exposition and spreading of it, we may leave it pretty much to defend itself. I do not know whether you see that lion—it is very distinctly before my eyes; a number of persons advance to attack him, while a host of us would defend [him]….Pardon me if I offer a quiet suggestion. Open the door and let the lion out; he will take care of himself.

The Bible is like a lion, Spurgeon claims, so you must not spend too much of your breath describing it, defending it, or arguing about why it should be believed. Instead, he urges you to put your energy into simply preaching it—into actually exposing people to it in its clearest and most vivid form. Then the extraordinary power and authority of the Word will become self-evident—even in the most antiauthoritarian settings, among the most skeptical people. I know this to be true.

Timothy Keller, on preaching