Daniel Akin, President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, is an extremely gifted preacher/teacher, who teaches preaching at his seminary, and preaches about 45 Sundays out of the year, according to his own estimates.
In short, he is extremely passionate about preaching.
I’m currently prepping a sermon that I’ll be preaching in a week and a half, and he’s got some critical questions to ask when studying for preaching:
- What is it that God wants my people to know?
- What is it that God wants my people to do?
- What does this text teach about God, His character and ways?
- What does this text teach about fallen man?
- How does this text point to Christ?
These questions are immensely helpful, not just for preaching, but also for our own study.
Biblical/theological knowledge—about God, His character, His purposes, His ways, His attributes; about fallen humanity in light of God’s character, and the need for Christ’s death and resurrection—flows into application. As Akin said at the Acts 29 boot camp in Raleigh, North Carolina, “Our goal is to make disciples of Jesus who think and act in a Christian worldview-ish kind of way. People who do not think like Jesus will not act like Jesus—and people who do not act like Jesus are not really thinking like Jesus, either.”
This is really important for a brainiac-type kid like me to remember, who has historically been one to err on the side of accumulating more knowledge than I can apply on certain subjects. Because no matter how much knowledge I have, it makes no difference if it’s not transforming my life, and ultimately, making me more like Jesus, the true hero of the Bible, to whom every passage in every book of the Bible points.
Hopefully you will find Akin’s questions as useful in your own study as I have.