The Three Fundamental Methods Of Preaching.— The Writing Of Sermons -- By: Edwards A. Park

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 028:111 (Jul 1871)
Article: The Three Fundamental Methods Of Preaching.— The Writing Of Sermons
Author: Edwards A. Park


The Three Fundamental Methods Of Preaching.— The
Writing Of Sermons

Edwards A. Park.

§ 1. Introductory Remarks

I. Definition of terms. — We speak familiarly, sometimes awkwardly, of “reading sermons,” “delivering them from a manuscript,” “preaching from notes,” “the written method.” A man is said to adopt this method when he writes his sermons, and then reads what he has written. He may have penned them with or without a previous study of his theme, plan, and language; he may be a painstaking or an extemporaneous writer. If he commits his sermons to memory, and recites them as thus committed, he adopts the method variously called “preaching memoriter,” the “memoriter method.” He may first write what he afterwards learns by heart, or he may arrange his thoughts and words in his mind, and in the process of arranging them may impress them on his memory without writing a syllable. The penning of the sermon is no more essential to the preaching of it memoriter, than the antecedent study of it is essential to the writing. When a preacher delivers his discourses without having previously written them or designedly committed them to memory, he adopts what is variously called the “extemporaneous,” “extemporary,” or “extempore method.” As the man who reads his sermons, and the man who recites them memoriter may adopt various modes of preparing them, so the man who preaches extempore may elaborate them in a greater or smaller degree. He may arrange his thoughts precisely as if he were to write them, and then, instead of

writing them or constructing his sentences so that he can commit them to memory, he may deliver them to his congregation in words which do not suggest themselves to his mind until he is ready to utter them. On the other hand, he may rise to speak without having previously arranged his thoughts or formed any plan of discourse, or perhaps without having selected any subject. The extemporaneous method does not necessarily presuppose any degree of meditation before speaking, nor does it necessarily exclude any degree. It does, however, exclude certain kinds of previous labor. So far forth as it is extemporaneous it excludes the intellectual formation of sentences which the author designs to repeat as he has formed them, and still more the penning of sentences which he designs to read or recite before his audience.1 That sermon is not extemporaneous which is designedly delivered the second time verbatim et literatim as it had been delivered the first time, or even mentally repeated in private. The extemporaneous preacher may go into the pulpit with the same amount of antecedent study which the writer...

You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
Click here to subscribe
visitor : : uid: ()