ARTICLE XXV – Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics – 1978
We affirm that the only type of preaching which sufficiently conveys the divine revelation and its proper application to life is that which faithfully expounds the text of Scripture as the Word of God.
We deny that the preacher has any message from God apart from the text of Scripture.
The following is part 2 from the chapter Expository Teaching in A Pastor’s Manual on Doing Church – pp77-78
The Present Desperate Need
Unfortunately, the primacy and efficacy of expository teaching is no longer an indisputable fact in many of today’s churches and pulpits. A downward spiral of churches filled with culture saturated congregants who have been trained to and now desire to hear light and easily digested self-validations, pastors who care more to be approved of by men than by God, a pragmatic “what works” mentality, and seminaries that teach “how to” methodologies of ministry rather than equipping pastors to study, absorb and expound the Divine self-revelation of the Word.
To be painfully honest, our seminaries can supply any number of men who love Christ, as they understand him, are relational, equipped to lead ministries well, are process oriented, can counsel fairly competently, and as one Eastern Orthodox critic of American Protestant pastors put it well, “are a quivering mass of availability.”
What is needed now, more than ever, is men who will pay the price to study the Scriptures
What is needed now, more than ever, is men who will pay the price to study the Scriptures, learn the original languages, avail themselves of the history and culture surrounding the authors and original recipients, develop the patience and tenacity of a tree farmer, and finally, stand and deliver the exposition to their charges. We need shepherds who care for the quality of the food their sheep eat, not just the quantity.
Listen carefully to the last cry of the apostle Paul as he was about to face his own earthly end:
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. -(2 Timothy 4:1-5 NAS)
Paul, and apparently the ascended and heavenly seated Christ Jesus, were not impressed with men who were merely capable to make people feel good about their church attendance (not that being part of, and participating in, the body of Christ is a bad thing. It well ought to be glorious). What seems to be rewardable to the shepherd at the Bema seat of Christ, and ultimately effective in the soul of the listener, is the careful exposition of Scripture to the flock.