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Doctrinal Preaching and Baptism

24 October 2007

Wayne Shaw commented on doctrinal preaching in an article on PreachingToday.

PT: Tell us why you feel the preacher should preach doctrine.

For me, the deepest questions of life are theological, and the answers are theological. Philosophy can raise the basic questions, but only a word from the outside00theology–can adequately answer them. As preachers, we need a theology of preaching to sustain ourselves, and we need a theology to preach to sustain our hearers. That is why doctrine is so important.

PT: Should they work a little bit of doctrinal teaching into every sermon? Should they preach one doctrine-heavy sermon a month? One series a year?

Preach doctrine all the time, preach it well, and preach it with variety.


This past Sunday I preached a straight doctrinal sermon on baptism. One comment that has been made is that I don’t preach baptism strong enough. (And among Christian Churches you can get fired for that charge). And mostly I am OK with that. I would rather be known for preaching Christ strongly. Preaching the Bible strongly. And while I include baptism in many sermons, I seldom make it the focus of one entire sermon (I can only point to one other time I have done that in my 8 years at TCC).

I had an interesting response. (I am also preparing a post on how I judge sermon response). But the immediate response was fairly quiet. No one came forward to be baptized (or to receive Christ). I find that in my preaching, those decisions come in the weeks to come. There was very little comment on the sermon at the end of the worship service. But through the week (especially in our small groups that are using my sermons as the basis for their weekly studies), there has been solid discussion and questions. Hopefully, the Holy Spirit is able to continue working on people’s hearts and minds over the days and weeks to come.

Baptism, Doctrinal Preaching, Response

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