Lecture 8 – Illuminating Devices

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5. The proclamation, explanation, and application of scriptural truths aided by legitimate and judicious illuminating devices must be our constant labor.

Introduction – Explanation of the key words:

Illuminating devices

C. H. Spurgeon, “Illustrations in Preaching” in Lectures to My Students, Book III, (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim Publications, 1990), pp. 5-6.

Legitimate

Judicious

a. A demonstration of the desirability of these devices

1) A God-given law of learning

William G. Blaikie, For the Work of the Ministry, (Birmingham, AL: Solid Ground Christian Books, 2005), pp. 59-60.

William Arnot, Parables of Our Lord, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1981), pp. 11-32.

2) The scriptural mode of preaching

William G. Blaikie, For the Work of the Ministry, (Birmingham, AL: Solid Ground Christian Books, 2005), p. 60.

John C. Ryle, The Upper Room, (London: Banner of Truth Trust, 1983), p. 48.

3) The history of preaching itself

John A. Broadus, On the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons, (Birmingham, AL: Solid Ground Christian Books, 2005), pp. 228-229.

John C. Ryle, Christian Leaders of the 18th Century, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2002), pp. 52-53.

b. An explanation of the manifold functions of these devices

1) The primary function of these devices is the clarifying of the truth, either in its explication or application.

James Stewart, Preaching, (London: English Universities Press, 1963), p. 124.

2) The secondary functions of these devices

a) They are often an excellent means of gaining or re-gaining attention.

C. H. Spurgeon, “Illustrations in Preaching“, in Lectures to My Students,  Book III, (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim Publications, 1990), pp. 3-4.

William Arnot, Parables of Our Lord, (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1981), pp. 18-19.

b) They can be made a powerful means of making a surprise attack upon the consciences of men.

c) They tend to make sermons more interesting, pleasurable, and attractive.

C. H. Spurgeon, “Illustrations in Preaching“, in Lectures to My Students, Book III, (Pasadena, TX: Pilgrim Publications, 1990), pp. 2-3.

d) They tend to aid the memory.

John A. Broadus, On the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons, (Birmingham, AL: Solid Ground ChristianBooks, 2005), pp. 228-229.

c. A word of warning and caution concerning the abuse of these devices.

1) Do not overload the sermon with any of these devices.

D. Martin Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1972), pp. 237-238.

2) Do not ever use them for their own sake.

James Stewart, Preaching, (London: English Universities Press, 1963), p. 124-125.

William G. Blaike, For the Work of the Ministry, (Birmingham, AL: Solid Ground Christian Books, 2005), pp. 61-62.

3) Do not use them unless they clarify truth to the average hearer.

4) Do not ever use them for mere filler.

Austin Phelps, The Theory of Preaching, (London: Richard D. Dickinson, 1882), p. 153.

d. Some suggestions as to the means of cultivating facility in the use of these devices

1) Indirect means

a) Seek to employ them in ordinary conversation.

b) Labor at using these devices in the instruction of your children.

c) Sustain much general reading as a means of impression and acquisition.

2) Direct means

a) When the sermon is fairly well formed, go over it and note places where these devices are most needed, and work them in.

b) Seek to analyze statements which could be made more interesting, clear, or forceful with the use of these devices.

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