Preaching textbooks are notorious for leaving out the
The kingdom of God is the Bible’s principal theme and is the focus of Jesus Christ’s ministry. In recent years, biblical theology has recaptured the kingdom of God as the common thread running through the Old and New Testaments. Throughout Scripture, God is progressively revealing to human kind the nature and reality of His kingdom. In the Old Testament, God built a people who were to live under his rule, and He promises to establish David’s kingdom forever (2 Sam. 7:16).
In the gospels of the New Testament, the kingdom of God was the dominant focus of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus taught that the kingdom of God had come in and through Him. Jesus’ first public proclamation was “Repent, for the kingdom of God is near,” (Matt. 4.19). Throughout His public ministry, Jesus demonstrates how He is the Messiah, the “anointed ruler” who was to come and rescue His people and to sit on David’s throne forever.
At the cross, King Jesus atoned for the sins of His people. Through His resurrection, Jesus demonstrated His power over death and the beauty and wonder of a life alive before God. The remainder of the New Testament reveals how the church exists as a present day sign of the kingdom and how God’s kingdom will be completely established at the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Almost any biblical or theological survey affirms that the kingdom of God is the Bible’s most centrally important idea, but many preachers do not proclaim it as their primary focus or dominant theme. Of course, many would claim to preach the kingdom of God, but how many really do? Some will think that they preach the kingdom just because they call for decisions for Christ and strive to preach biblical messages. However, an enormous canyon exists between how one thinks he preaches the kingdom and how he actually does.
Preachers should teach their listeners that they are to be a part of God’s present, real, and active rule on this earth. Preachers should explicitly equip their listeners to see where and how their lives fit into the realm of God’s kingdom rule. A preacher who deals with the ten tensions presented here will foster a Kingdom vision for their lives. While every preacher strives to preach the kingdom, a preacher who negotiates between and examines these ten tensions will hopefully gain a better perspective from which to proclaim the kingdom of God.
1. Ideology vs. Person
The kingdom of God has been predominately proclaimed as an ideology. Throughout the early 20th Century, the kingdom of God was taught as an idea. Liberalism made the kingdom a utopia brought about by social reforms and by fighting for social causes, while the person and work of Christ were minimized. In contemporary 21st Century, some theological undercurrents once again cast the kingdom of God as a utopian ideology that masks the person and work of Jesus Christ. Maybe not meaning to, they elevate the idea of the kingdom over the kingdom in a person. From such a perspective, the kingdom of God becomes an ideological idol that replaces Jesus Christ.
Preaching the kingdom must never be separated from the person of Jesus Christ. Preaching the kingdom must announce God’s reign through Christ. In other words, the kingdom of God now has a name and a face. It is not an abstract idea; it is the person of Jesus Christ (he autobasileia – the kingdom in person).3 He has established His rule through His crucifixion and resurrection. Jesus calls all those who would follow Him to surrender their lives to His Kingly rule and to participate in His Kingdom by obeying His teaching. Kingdom preaching that does not focus on the person of Christ creates a kingdom ideology, as mentioned above.
As Leslie Newbigin writes, “when the message of the kingdom is divorced from the Person of Jesus, it becomes a programme or an ideology, but not a gospel. In Pauline terms, the preaching of the Kingdom then becomes a preaching of the law.”4 Preaching the kingdom must never be reduced to a law, a program, or an ideology. It must always be the good news of the kingdom that has come in a person.
While preaching the kingdom must emphasize the person of Christ, people must also understand the concept of the kingdom in biblical revelation. Teaching people about the kingdom’s progressive revelation in Scripture is vastly different than preaching the kingdom as an ideological utopia, program, or social cause. Preaching the kingdom should teach the ideas of the kingdom, how the Old Testament laid the foundation for the coming King, how the New Testament proclaims the fulfilled Kingdom in Christ, and how the church presently lives as a sign of God’s effective and actual rule on earth.
However, preaching these framework concepts of the kingdom differs from proclaiming the kingdom as ideologically superior to the person of Christ. Any kingdom proclamation not pointing to the Lordship of Christ in this world is merely an ideological idol. Preaching in contemporary culture needs the context of the Bible’s teaching on the kingdom to truly appreciate how the kingdom of God is fulfilled and established in the crucified, risen, and reigning Jesus Christ.
2. Small Pieces vs. The Big Picture
The second tension in preaching the kingdom is whether one should focus on the pieces of the kingdom puzzle or the big picture. Preaching and teaching on the kingdom of God can be like putting together a puzzle for the congregation. Week in and week out, the preacher challenges them to live their lives for Christ, but he probably does not provide them with a real framework for understanding the kingdom of God. In other words, much preaching does not teach a kingdom worldview.
Preaching typically provides people with only the pieces of a kingdom worldview. The full picture of the kingdom is usually missing. For example, most sermons usually focus on a specific text. A sermon series might examine a cluster of texts all related to a specific topic. However, when the preacher moves on to the next sermon series or the next biblical book, he never makes the necessary connection between the various truths. As a result, the congregation is given a cluster of small puzzle pieces with little or no idea of how to arrange them or how to put them together in their minds and lives. Preachers leave their listeners to figure out how all these disconnected links interconnect and form a larger whole. In many ways, this approach is like the folk proverb that says “you can’t see the forest because of the trees,” for it leaves listeners without a proper view of the bigger picture.
Preaching that encourages a kingdom worldview will provide the larger picture of the kingdom puzzle and show how all the pieces fit into it. Such preaching will proclaim the kingdom of God in Christ as the main theme of the Bible and of all preaching. Big picture kingdom preaching also meets the needs of our listeners. It helps them to see and understand God’s larger mission and purpose. Obviously, every sermon one preaches does not have to make a beeline to the kingdom. However, preaching the big picture of the kingdom gives hearers an idea of how to all the parts fit together and form a comprehensive whole. How else are they to understand the big picture of the kingdom unless someone teaches it to them? (Rom. 10:14-15).
Preaching should include the small pieces and provide the bigger picture of the kingdom puzzle. The majority of preaching will and should likely focus on equipping listeners with the pieces of the kingdom. Occasionally, however, preachers must step back and encourage their congregation to look at the bigger picture. Periodically, preaching the kingdom must cast the overarching vision of the kingdom to help listeners assimilate the various truths they hear proclaimed throughout one’s preaching ministry.
3. Vision vs. Decision
Calling for a decision is a vitally important part of kingdom preaching. When Jesus first announces the kingdom, he says, “Repent, for the kingdom of God is near” (Mark 1). He called upon those who heard his message to make a U-turn, to change their direction in life. He called for his disciples to come and follow Him (Matt. 4.19). He called for an immediate decision from them, and that is exactly how they responded. Preaching the kingdom must call for a decision from those who hear the message of Jesus Christ.
Much preaching, however, calls for decisions for Christ without people truly understanding what the kingdom of God is all about. Preachers usually call for decisions only on the basis of human sinfulness. Many sermons proclaim how sinful, how guilty, and how shameful we are, and then they proclaim that Christ died to take away our sin, shame, and guilt. Then, the preacher will offer an invitation for anyone who wants to be free from sin and who wants to go to Heaven when they die. People will make decisions only to escape the negative consequences of sin and will have no grander direction or purpose for their lives. Such preaching lacks a vision of the King who will fill every micronutrient of their body and every nanosecond of their day with fullness of life and purpose.
Evangelical preaching needs to provide people with a vision of the kingdom. A vision of the kingdom will provide people with the proper context for understanding their decision for Christ. Preaching that encourages a kingdom vision helps people to know that Christ’s call is to be a part of His kingdom and is not just a momentary decision so that they can go to Heaven when they die. Such preaching will paint a picture of what God’s rule in their lives looks like. When a vision of the kingdom has been proclaimed, people will better understand their decision to surrender their lives to Christ.
Visionary kingdom preaching will enliven people because they will see their lives as a part of God’s larger work on earth. They will understand their purpose and see the need to be productive for God’s kingdom. Visionary kingdom preaching will help people to recognize that every aspect of their lives – work, play, family, and relationships – can be a part of God’s present, real, and active rule in this world. Thus, evangelical preaching must hold together the need to cast a vision of the kingdom and the call for decisions so that the disciple’s call is completely comprehended.
4. Individual vs. Communal
Preaching the kingdom of God must examine how it addresses the individual. In Western
culture, the primary focus is on the individual’s needs. Capitalistic culture thrives by convincing the individual of his need for things and leads him to buy or consume them.
Much preaching, not void of its culture, also focuses on the individual’s needs. Such preaching tends to focus on felt or real needs. In its purist form, it leads the individual from felt need to real need. Traditional preaching attempts to accomplish this shift with a catchy introduction, a thorough explanation of the text, and a relevant application that is supposed to bring the text alive for the hearer. This manner of preaching overly focuses on the needs of the individual. In this preaching style, sermons, even if they are expository, are really driven by the consumer needs of the individual.
The kingdom of God is overshadowed by preaching that focuses too much on the individual. The “individual needs” model structures the sermon’s rhetoric solely to persuade the individual of his needs being meet by the gospel. When such preaching has convinced the individual that his or her needs have been met, only then will the preacher attempt to teach them about the responsibilities of discipleship to the church and to be a part of the kingdom.
This type of individualistically-styled preaching follows a logical, sequential process, focusing first on the individual, second on the church, and third on the kingdom. As a result, this type of preaching produces self-focused Christians who need further persuasion if they are to truly unite in radical, brotherly, self-giving community and to participate in actively upbuilding God’s kingdom.
Overly-emphasized individualistic preaching needs to recover the communal aspect of the kingdom of God and potentially to restructure its persuasive rhetoric. Emphasizing the communal aspect of the kingdom encourages listeners to realize that it is not all about them and their consumer needs. Preaching the communal aspects of the kingdom will help listeners to know that they as individuals can be a part of something far bigger and far greater than themselves. Preaching the kingdom in this manner would reverse the flow of persuasive rhetoric from a 1, 2, 3 (individual, community, kingdom) progression to a 3, 2, 1 (kingdom, community, individual) movement. Such preaching emphasizes how God’s kingdom is coming in this world (3), how the church (2) exists to presently extend that kingdom now, and how the individual (3) can repent of his sin, enjoy a restored relationship with God, and work to spread God’s kingdom on earth. Such a shift in preaching’s rhetoric would counter catering preaching that caters to the individual’s needs and would properly recover the communal aspect of the kingdom of God.
5. Intellectual vs. Experiential
Evangelical preaching specializes on proclaiming the intellectual side of the kingdom of God. It proclaims the kingdom of God as an object, as something that is outside the human being. Intellectual kingdom preaching focuses primarily on informing the mind. It makes the kingdom something that one knows about — something residing outside of the human body. The kingdom becomes something “out there” to study in an impersonal, removed, and abstract way.
While the intellectual aspect of the kingdom is needed, kingdom preaching must also emphasize one’s personal experience of the kingdom. Experiential kingdom preaching proclaims how the individual and the community can experience the present, actual, and living rule of God in this life now. It calls for an ongoing, personal faith response of surrender to the rule of Christ. Experiential preaching makes the kingdom of God in Christ a relational reality; it becomes a person, a Savior, a King that one can relate to. By emphasizing personal relationship, kingdom preaching encourages inward intimacy and closeness, which are experiential by nature, with the King and His kingdom. The kingdom no longer remains solely “out there” for one to know, but it comes alive as a first hand experience of an “in here” reality.
Preaching the kingdom of God effectively requires a balance between both the intellectual and the experiential aspects of the kingdom. To emphasize the intellectual to the exclusion of the experiential is to make the kingdom of God an impersonal object or concept that merely grows mold inside one’s mind. To only proclaim the experiential side to the exclusion of the intellectual is to reduce the kingdom to subjective emotional experience and makes the kingdom a mystical fog that one must live in.
To balance both the intellectual and experiential is to make the kingdom of God both an actual reality that one knows about and a vital connection that one knows of. Preaching both aspects makes the kingdom realm a precious pearl that one will seek after and an all-consuming presence that is vibrantly alive within us. Preaching that does not emphasize both of these aspects fails to communicate holistically to listeners and merely proclaims a one-dimensional kingdom.
6. Narrow Exposition vs. Broad Exposition
Expository preaching has many definitions. Some are very narrow, while others are broader. Some are very limiting, and others are more giving. The most widely accepted definition of expository preaching is by Haddon Robinson. His definition states: “Expository preaching is the communication of a biblical concept, derived from and transmitted through a historical, grammatical, and literary study of a passage in its context, which the Holy Spirit first applies to the personality and experience of the preacher, then through the preacher, applies to the hearers.”5
Robinson’s definition has many great points. It emphasizes deriving preaching’s content from the biblical text, encourages thorough exegetical study, and focuses on personal application of truth before congregational application. While Robinson’s definition of expository preaching is helpful, it represents a narrow view of exposition. A narrow view of exposition confines the preacher to structuring his sermon completely around one primary biblical concept derived typically from only one biblical passage. Narrow exposition takes on a tunnel-like focus on one passage and insists on laser-like precision in dividing its truths before the people.
A broader definition of expository preaching allows for more flexibility in sermonic craft and structure, but still remains true to the convictions of an expositor.6 A broad definition concerns itself with faithfully representing the text(s) and does not necessarily confine the sermon to only one passage. For those taking a broad view of exposition, the preacher’s motivation and representation of the text(s) is what really matters. Thus, a sermon is deemed expository based on the way one treats or handles a passage or passages.
The broad view also allows for a variety of sermon models. As Jerry Vines and Jim Shaddix claim in Power in the Pulpit, various models of sermons – topical, textual, narrative, biographical, dramatic monologue, theological, and ethical sermons – are all valid expository preaching methods, as long as each form is “subjected to the expositional process.”7
One’s view of what is or is not expository will determine how he preaches the kingdom of God. If one has a narrow definition of exposition, he will likely preach one selected passage of Scripture each time. In preaching the kingdom, he might create a series around selected passages, but each sermon will only explain the meaning of one primary text (two or three might be used on occasion). A person holding a broader definition of exposition, on the other hand, has a myriad of approaches to choose from in preaching the kingdom. To teach the kingdom of God in Christ, he might do a topical series, a theological/doctrinal series, or an ethical series on the kingdom theme and use a variety of biblical texts and sermonic forms. He might preach a first person drama, teach a narrative, or incorporate various media forms to communicate the kingdom. Thus, with the broader definition, the preacher is not shackled to only one text and has more freedom and flexibility in proclaiming the kingdom.
Which view is right? Both views of expository preaching are right. Both definitions are faithful to the commitments of an expositor. Both can be and are practiced by faithful preachers who teach and lead their hearers to know more of the kingdom of God in Christ. While one definition of expository preaching offers greater flexibility as to how the kingdom is preached, that fact does not make it an inherently better approach. The bottom line: one should preach the kingdom from whichever view of expository preaching that he believes most faithfully communicates to others the truths about God’s kingdom.
7. Story vs. Proposition
Evangelical preaching, for the most part, follows a propositional preaching model. Most evangelical preaching textbooks teach students to follow a very linear, point-by-point sermon model as the vehicle for delivering truth.8 The propositional model encourages a thorough exegesis of the text to find the central theme or the “big idea” of the passage. Then, the rest of the sermon is build deductively around that theme, following the text point by point. The preacher is encouraged to find the main principles and the timeless truths of the text, to organize them in an orderly progression, and to then make applications of those points at the end. Most preaching texts teach this expository model and many preachers follow it.
These same preachers, however, would change their preaching methods if they were preaching on the mission field. On the mission field, the preacher would likely assume that those in another culture do not share Western deductive logic. They might use chronological Bible storying as a means of communicating biblical truth in another culture, but for some reason, they shun the same practice in a Western context. The preacher assumes that Western culture follows logical, deductive argument, learns best this way, and will live out the sermon’s preconceived applications. The propositional sermon, though having its strengths, assumes that most people live the majority of their lives deductively, when that may not be the case.
Biblical storying needs to be recovered as a valid means of teaching others about the kingdom of God. While the preacher may assume that Western culture follows logical, literate processes of learning, the fact is that 75% of Americans are functionally illiterate or semi-literate.9 Functional illiteracy means that people might have the ability to read, but it means very little in their day in, day out living; they choose or prefer not to use it. In other words, though most of the United States has the ability to read, to write, and to understand logical development, they have little use for it. They place far greater emphasis on events, stories, proverbs, relationships, feelings, emotions, and experiences. Thus, preachers must consider recovering the vastly important art of storying, for storying more effectively connects biblical truth with the hearts and minds of functionally oral learners.
Both biblical storying and propositional preaching are needed to teach others about the kingdom of God in Christ. Not only can both forms be effective models of communication, but they are both biblical. In the Bible, Jesus tells parables and stories about the kingdom. Jesus compares the kingdom to a mustard seed, to yeast that works through dough, among many other teaching stories. However, in Paul’s preaching, he uses direct propositional argument. In the Bible, both methods are used to communicate truth to different audiences, and in contemporary culture, preachers should be prepared to use both to successfully communicate the kingdom of God.
8. Passive vs. Active
Much evangelical preaching encourages passive participation in the kingdom of God. Of course, the kingdom does have a passive element to it. As one scholar notes, “the Kingdom of God will never be fully realized apart from the personal, glorious, victorious Coming of Christ. Men cannot build the Kingdom of God; Christ will bring it.”10 Evangelical preaching definitely captures this “not yet” reality of the kingdom, but maybe too much so. Evangelical preaching’s over-emphasis of the “not yet” reality of the kingdom creates a passive disposition in its members. People who hear such preaching focus primarily on the life that is to come when Christ brings the kingdom. As a result, the kingdom is only a forward looking hope in the future, is totally disconnected from present life, and creates passive participants who are merely passing time until eternity when God’s kingdom will come.
Preaching the kingdom must obviously refer to the kingdom that is yet to come, but it must also emphasize that the kingdom is presently at hand in and through Christ. Christ’s kingdom impacts every area of living and is meant for life right now. It is far more than just an insurance policy with God where one goes to heaven when he dies. The kingdom is currently inbreaking into the present world through Jesus Christ. As George Eldon Ladd writes, “The deliverance comes from the power of The Age to Come which has reached back and projected itself in the person of Christ into the present evil Age so that we, by the power of The Age to Come, may be delivered from this present evil Age.”11
Thus, followers of Christ, who become like Him in His death, somehow attain to the kingdom life by experiencing the power of the resurrection that is brilliantly alive in them. As a result, the kingdom has meaning in the present and calls people to active participation. Preaching that emphasizes God’s present rule will encourage believers to be active bearers of that rule, for God’s kingdom is presently at hand.
Evangelical preaching must balance the “already” but “not yet” dimensions of God’s kingdom. Without the “not yet” aspect, one has no hopeful expectation of God’s full kingdom being revealed at the end of time. Without the “already” dimension of the kingdom, present life has little to no meaning. Preaching that proclaims both aspects will encourage active participation from those who have already entered the kingdom of God through new birth and will prepare them to enter God’s eternal Kingdom in glory when Christ comes back to finish the good work He has already begun.
9. Sacred vs. Secular
Without hesitation, the church must be affirmed as a “sign of the kingdom.”12 The church lives as a community under the rule of God and demonstrates to the world His effective will being done. Believers, as part of the church, exhibit an allegiance and citizenship to a governing King from another world. As a result, they are to be holy, set apart from the world. Kingdom preaching must declare and help the church to realize its set-apartness. It must encourage the church toward living the holy nature of kingdom. Kingdom preaching that encourages such sacredness will further the church’s identity as God’s redemptive community in the world today.
While preaching must always uphold the sacred nature of the kingdom, it must also teach how the kingdom of God infiltrates the secular world (secular as used here refers to life outside the church community and as part of the larger culture, i.e work, social activities, etc.). Unlike preachers, the vast majority of our congregations live in the “secular” world. Preaching that only proclaims the sacred nature of the kingdom never teaches congregants how to actually live outside the church walls. Such preaching creates an unhealthy divide that separates and compartmentalizes church life from the rest of one’s experience and never equips him or her to live in his or her “real” world. Such “sacred” kingdom preaching never helps the listener see how his daily work, activities, chores, relationships, attitudes, thoughts, and time can be/are a part of God’s kingdom. The listener is left to figure out how to live in the world all on his or her own, which usually results in a syncretized hodgepodge of mixed up values, beliefs, and practices.
One who preaches the kingdom of God has the responsibility of helping listeners to understand how the “sacred” and the “secular” fit together. Preaching must teach people how to balance between being set apart from the world but yet living in it. The preacher must teach the listener how to integrate all of one’s life into a comprehensive whole under God’s rule. He must break down the wall that divides the sacred and the secular in the listener’s mind. The preacher must teach his hearers how to embody the kingdom in every aspect of life and leave no area untouched. Such kingdom preaching will encourage hearers to live holistic kingdom lives.
10. Missional vs. Existential
Preaching a missional orientation teaches one that the spread of God’s kingdom is part of the missio Dei and that missions are a part of fulfilling God’s plan. In practical words, missional preaching stresses that there is something for everyone to do in the kingdom of God. While the term “missional” is a contemporary buzzword and much could be said about it, being missional simply means that all of the church’s activities are focused on fulfilling God’s purpose and mission in the world. Preaching missionally, in its purist form, calls people into God’s service now, for them to be on mission and fulfilling God’s purposes wherever they are. It reminds one that what he or she does for the kingdom matters.
Preaching the kingdom existentially teaches that belonging to God’s kingdom changes the essence and nature of those who are a part of it. Such preaching reminds one that he or she is to be the kingdom. Existential kingdom preaching helps one to realize that he or she is the flesh and bones of the Christ’s kingdom today. Preaching the kingdom existentially focuses the listeners on who they are in Christ and on what type of person that they are becoming. It emphasizes the transformed character of those indwelt by the Holy Spirit and of those who have entered into the kingdom of God. Existential preaching of the kingdom encourages one to exhibit a Christ-like life as a result of his or her spiritual transformation.
Preaching the kingdom effectively needs both the missional and the existential focus. Preachers need to proclaim the kingdom as both something that we do and as something that we are to be. Preaching should uphold both the mission and the essence of the kingdom. Preaching the kingdom both missionally and existentially clearly portrays the kingdom as a reality that can transform the world, but primarily as a transformative influence that begins with one’s own life.
For far too long, the kingdom of God has been missing from preaching. Even though the subject has been missing in preaching discussions, evangelical preaching has proclaimed faithfully proclaimed certain kingdom aspects while neglecting others. It is time to recover the kingdom of God as the centrally important theme in evangelical preaching and to encourage balance in how we proclaim it.
Ryan Baltrip is the Senior Pastor of Little Flat Creek Baptist Church in Corryton, TN.
Buttrick, David. Preaching the New and the Now. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1998.
Chapell, Bryan. Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon. Grand Rapids:Baker: 1994.
Goldsworthy, Graeme. Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture: The Application of Biblical Theology to Expository Preaching. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000.
Greidanus, Sidney. The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text: Interpreting and Preaching Biblical Literature. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988.
Kirsch, Irwin S., Ann Jungeblut, Lynn Jenkins, and Andrew Kolstad, A First Look at the Findings of the National Adult Literacy Survey, 3rd edition (Washington: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, 2000.
Ladd, George Eldon. The Gospel of the Kingdom. Reprint. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995.
Newbigin, Leslie. Sign of the Kingdom. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980.
Origen. Commentary on Matthew. In Ante-Nicene Fathers. New York: Scribner’s, 1926.
Robinson, Haddon. Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001.
Vines, Jerry and Jim Shaddix. Power in the Pulpit: How to Prepare and Deliver Expository Sermons. Chicago: Moody, 1999.
Willard, Dallas. Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God. Downers Grove: Intervarsity, 1999.
______. The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God. San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1997.
______. Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the Character of Christ. Colorado Springs, Navpress, 2002.
York, Hershael W. and Bert Decker. Preaching with Bold Assurance: A Solid and Enduring Approach to Engaging Exposition. Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 2003.
Lovejoy, Grant, et al., “Lausanne Occasional Paper No. 54-‘Making Disciples of Oral Learners,” presented to Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization on Sept. 29 to Oct. 5, 2004 in Pattaya, Thailand.
1. David Buttrick, Preaching the New and the Now (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1998).
2. Sidney Greidanus, The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text: Interpreting and Preaching Biblical Literature (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988) contains 15 scattered pages throughout the book on the kingdom of God. However, the most comprehensive treatment is a ten page section in Bryan Chapell’s Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994), 289-298. Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 87-89, also contains a brief explicit mention of the kingdom of God’s relation to preaching.
3. Origen, “Commentary on Matthew,” Ante-Nicene Fathers (New York: Scribner’s: 1926), 498.
4. Leslie Newbigin, Sign of the Kingdom (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980), 18-19.
5. Haddon Robinson, Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001), 21.
6. Hershael York, Preaching with Bold Assurance (Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 2004), 18-31.
7. Jerry Vines and Jim Shaddix, Power in the Pulpit (Chicago: Moody, 1999), 29-30.
8. Robinson, Biblical Preaching, Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Preaching, and Vines and Shaddix, Power in the Pulpit are just a few examples the propositional model in evangelical preaching.
9. Lovejoy, Grant, et al., “Lausanne Occasional Paper No. 54-‘Making Disciples of Oral Learners,” presented to Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization on Sept. 29 to Oct. 5, 2004 in Pattaya, Thailand, 11-13, 18-22, presents the most comprehensive study on orality in the world, but Irwin S. Kirsch, Ann Jungeblut, Lynn Jenkins, and Andrew Kolstad, A First Look at the Findings of the National Adult Literacy Survey, 3rd edition (Washington: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, 2000), provides more specific orality information for the United States.
10. George Eldon Ladd, The Gospel of the Kingdom, reprint (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 39.
11. Ladd, The Gospel of the Kingdom, 41.
12. Leslie Newbigin, Sign of the Kingdom (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980), 40.