Saturday, June 19, 2010

How to preach: abstract doctrine?

In my seminary it is traditional for students to preach once at a college chapel, usually during their final year, and that sermon is supposed to be expository.

But as a full time post-graduate student, I get a second shot! So I've been pondering what I might preach on, and my thoughts have led me to consider a difficult question: how do you preach abstract doctrine?

And what I mean by abstract doctrine is that there are some teachings of the scriptures that are more about the very nature of God or the meta-grammar of theology. So, for example, I was contemplating attempting to preach on one of these:

- the doctrine of Simplicity
- the doctrine of Incomprehensibility
- the suffering of the Impassible Son

Expository preaching I know how to do. Even doctrinal preaching I can manage, especially when there are some texts that bear directly on the doctrine. These? I'm not sure how one tackles them in a homilectical setting.

Open to suggestions!

4 comments:

mike said...

Simplicity.

Seumas Macdonald said...

a suggestion of topic or method?

mapoulos said...

You could always exposit a writing of the Fathers. That's the only thing I can think of.

Seumas Macdonald said...

Well, short of expositing the fathers, I'm thinking reading a few patristic sermons might give me a few tips.

I'm beginning to feel that Simplicity is a doctrine that almost defies attempts to sermonise

The Suffering of the Impassible God might fly though.