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Another New, Old Form of Proclamation


There is no message more powerful. None. It cannot be matched. Though sharper than a double-edged sword, the Bible is a relatively little-used force in modern worship and discipleship. Often, a speaker will refer to a brief passage or verse as a launch point to make their own argument or explanation. At times, a preacher will belabor a single word study. While this is not wrong, it does raise two questions. First, for whose glory is the message given and the study done? Second, is there possibly a more effective mode? I hope that this first question will be wrestled with by all who teach the Bible. As for the second…


Read it. Aloud. To the community. Quote it. Share it.

There are numerous examples where this is done in the Bible. A few examples include:

  • Joshua reading the law to the people – Joshua 8
  • Josiah, who is convicted by the law when it is read to him, then, in turn, he reads it to the people – 2 Kings 22-23
  • Jesus reads from Isaiah in the temple – Luke 4

Promised that the Word of God will not return void, we are to proclaim it. This may be done simplest and best by letting the Word communicate for itself.

Last year I was in Germany when David Platt quoted the first 8 chapters of Romans to a group. Though I was unable to be in the meeting, I spoke with many afterward that were moved to tears and repentance because of the power of the Bible in context. Though presented as a different message and occasion, here is the essence of that time and an example of how powerfully the Word can communicate. It may be of value to note that he does not read this text, but rather quotes it. I encourage you to listen to the message in its entirety. It is really, really good…Scripture.

Note: This is the second post on the theme–A New, Old Form of Proclamation.

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Categories : Bible, church


  1. Michael says:

    Just the other day, a friend asked me about our church’s music. When I informed him that we didn’t usually have any music, he responded, “What do you do for worship?” I grinned and responded, “We read the Bible, aloud.”

    Now I do not retell this story in order to relate that we somehow have worship figured out. Honestly, I sometimes miss having music regularly and we do from time to time when friends are available to lead with music. Yet at the same time, I think we have missed the point when music=worship and worship=music and when the simple reading of the Word of God provokes no worshipful response.

  2. almost says:

    Thanks for sharing. I agree that we have made worship equal music. I love the idea of reading Scripture in community as a time and form of worship.

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