Covenant Theological Seminary’s president Bryan Chapell based some of his book Christ-Centered Preaching on Broadus’ material as published in 1944 (and prior). Since that time, Broadus’ work has been so altered that most of his observations on expository preaching have been removed. So, I went on Amazon and bought a copy to read for myself.
A word of warning to preachers and teachers of the word, from the father of modern expository preaching, John Broadus:
…it is so common to think that whatever kindles the imagination and touches the heart must be good preaching, and so easy to insist that the doctrines of the sermon are in themselves true and Scriptural, though they be not actually taught in the the text, that preachers often lose sight of their fundamental and inexcusable error of saying that a passage of God’s Word means what it does not mean.
[Broadus, A Treatise on the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons, 41st edition, ed. Dr. E. C. Dargan; George H. Doran Co., pub. 1898. pg. 52. Emphasis his.]
A timely word indeed for all preachers. Lord help us.
I’m curious why Broadus is regarded as the father of expository preaching where I think my query comes from the definition of expository preaching. One could regard the Apostles as expository preachers to say little of the early Antiochian school of preaching regarding the role of the preacher.
Sorry…I forgot the qualifier, “modern”. He’s the father of MODERN expository preaching.
For any questions regarding WHY he’s been given that title, ask Dr. Bryan Chapell, c/o Covenant Theological Seminary. He wrote the book that basically replaced the original Broadus editions. We’ll probably go more into the history of homiletics in later classes…the one I’m in right now isn’t a ‘historical survey’ class.
I do agree with you that the Apostles can be considered to be expository preachers, but the definition given by Chapell is “a message whose structure and thought are derived from a biblical text, that covers the scope of the text, and that explains the features and context of the text in order to disclose the enduring principles for faithful thinking, living, and worship intended by the Spirit, who inspired the text” (Chapell, Christ-Centered Preaching, 2005 ed., pg. 31).
The closest sermon we have to this in Scripture, I’d argue (outside of the Sermon on the Mount, perhaps) is the book of Hebrews…but even then, its use of Scripture (while obviously completely legitimate) does not conform to the usage above since it quotes a variety of passages in which one passage does dominate the others (Psalm 95), but is not the primary text from which the author ‘speaks;’ thus, it is not specifically an expository sermon.
Thanks for the clarification. “Modern” I can definitely understand. I just struggle with the suggestion that somehow expository preaching is “new” but I can appreciate how expository preaching is one way of preaching the Gospel. The Alexandrian School of preaching, for instance, generally presented the Gospel through allegory, constantly reading Christ into whatever passage was at hand. It’s not a bad way to go as far as preaching the word is concerned, but it’s different from expository preaching.