Stott on Preaching

stotJohn Stott – wow – this guy is something. first he is British, celibate for his entire life in order to devote himself to the Gospel, written more than 50 books.

Stott on preaching

“Either we preach that human beings are rebels against God, under his just judgment and (if left to themselves) lost, and that Christ crucified who bore their sin and curse is the only available Saviour. Or we emphasize human potential and human ability, with Christ brought in only to boost them, and with no necessity for the cross except to exhibit God’s love and so inspire us to greater endeavor.

The former is the way to be faithful, the latter the way to be popular. It is not possible to be faithful and popular simultaneously. We need to hear again the warning of Jesus: ‘Woe to you when all men speak well of you’ (Lk. 6:26). By contrast, if we preach the cross, we may find that we are ourselves hounded to the cross.”

Stott on listening to and watching your own sermons. (HT: Desiring God)

“If you look at yourself in the mirror, and listen to yourself on tape, or do both simultaneously on videotape, I fear you may find that you continue to look at yourself and listen to yourself when you are in the pulpit. In that case you will condemn yourself to the cramping bondage of preoccupation with yourself just at the time when, in the pulpit, it is essential to cultivate self-forgetfulness through a growing awareness of the God for whom and the people to whom you are speaking.

I know actors make use of glass and tape, but preachers are not actors, nor is the pulpit at a stage. So beware! It may be more valuable to ask a friend to be candid with you about your voice and mannerisms, especially if they need correction. An Indian proverb says “He who has a good friend needs no mirror.” Then you can be yourself and forget yourself”


  1. Reply
    chrisrhodenhizer says

    WOW!!! I am convicted and will make changes!

  2. Reply
    aletheiaodu says

    Good stuff. Basic Christianity is one of the best books written next to the Bible of course. Thank you for giving one of the best scholars to ever live some props. Long live one of God’s best servants!

  3. Reply
    Colby says

    The updated version of the Indian proverb, “He who has a good wife needs no mirror.”

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