just an observation…

If a conference is billed as a conference on preaching, why is it that so many of its speakers are obviously reading a prepared manuscript? Jonathan Edwards notwithstanding, it does seem that preaching should at least sound extemporaneous, don’t you think?



  1. Keith says:


  2. Keith says:

    I meant, why do you think that preaching = extemporaneous? Or, preaching = sounds like extemporaneous?

    I don’t particularly enjoy dead, boring reading. However, I’d take decent reading of thoughtful words over “interesting”, “on-fire”, nonsense anyday.

    I’m not bifurcating — I realize that there is no logical requirement that we choose either or. However, there aren’t many people who can pull off both well. So, in practice we often do have to choose.

    • Well, reading manuscripts seems awfully off-putting to me. Why not just give us the manuscript and go home? I can’t imagine the men I have in mind actually do this in classes that they teach, so why here?

      Anyway, I realize that extemporaneous isn’t the only way to preach. I am mostly trying to be a smart aleck with this post. Not sure if I am succeeding on the first part of that combo… (the ‘smart’ part).

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  3. T. Pennock says:


    Why anyone would want to mimic Edwards is a bit puzzling. He was a dud as a pastor and a dud as a preacher.

    In his day Calvinists worshipped him for having provided intellectual cover for their mistaken notion that absolute sovereignty equals total causation.

    Have a good one!


  4. Dave says:

    The one thing that seems to be missing from your observation is that no one preached during the conference from a manuscript. I would imagine that you listened to some workshop presentations that very carefully followed the notes, but there was not a single sermon preached as you’ve suggested.

    If you wanted to ask, why have workshops at a conference on preaching, then you would be asking a question that might warrant an answer. Instead, you’ve made a sarcastic comment, in the form of a question, that misrepresents the facts. Very bad form.

    • Relax, Dave… you are taking it way too seriously.

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  5. Keith says:

    Yeah, I can’t figure out why anyone would want to mimic Edwards either when they there are so many Bro. Billy Bobs around shouting and spitting and making unqualified statements like Calvinists believe “total sovereignty equals total causation.”

    Of course, don’t take this sarcasm too seriously.

    • Keith, I seriously have to disagree with your sarcasm. How many Billy Bobs do you know who can say words with as many syllables as “sovereignty” and “causation”, let alone understand what they mean?

      Think about it.

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  6. Keith says:

    They heard someone, who heard someone, who heard Bob Jones Senior say them once and they’ve been repeating them in the style of Billy Sunday ever since.

    • I’m trying to imagine Billy Sunday saying those words… it just doesn’t seem to fit.

      Don Johnson
      Jer 33.3

  7. Keith says:

    Oh, and I didn’t say anything about them understanding what they mean.

  8. Keith says:

    You’re taking it way too seriously.