Derek W. Thomas:
Alec Motyer has written: “An expository ministry is the proper response to a God-breathed Scripture… Central to it all is that concern which the word ‘exposition’ itself enshrines: a display of what is there.”
There are a variety of sermon types that fail to “display what is there.”
Bad writing is naturally mistaken for good writing. That’s because unlike good writing, bad writing hoards attention. Bad writing brags of the writer’s knowledge, skill, and creativity. Bad writers mistake obtuseness for creativity, and essential clarity for “profundity”.
What if I came to the table one evening and did not say to the kids, “Eat your fish.” What if instead my command was this: “Enjoy your fish.” That would be a different kettle of, well, fish.
This is a command they cannot complete, no matter how badly they want to. They could will themselves to eat they fish; they cannot will their love of it. In fact, in order for them to be obedient to this command from their father, they need something internal to change. They need more than mere will power; they need new taste buds.
And therein we see, once again, why the message of the Bible is not primarily “obey God.”
This month’s free book from ChristianAudio is A Passion for God by Lyle Dorsett, a biography of A.W. Tozer.
I love John Piper, as I assume has been evident over the years, but I found his answer to this question lacking at best and unhelpful at most. To some extent, he was directed to go to the biblical outline of gender roles by the phrasing of the question itself. But I think a better answer would be simply to step back, redirect, and consider the nature of a book. Any book. Any kind of book. Written by any author. Period. Female authors and male authors. Even Christian authors and non-Christian authors.
There is only one authoritative book. Every other book we can learn from and draw from and consider, testing all things its author teaches and clinging to whatever truth shakes out, even using what we see true in it in our life and ministry and public sermons.