Tuesday, June 27, 2017

3 Reasons Why I Quote the Church Fathers When I Preach

As the primary teaching pastor at my church, I quote regularly from the church fathers when I preach. I don't do so in every sermon, but my congregation is now familiar with names like Augustine, Chrysostom, Ambrose, and Athanasius.

Quoting people in sermons can be challenging, no matter what era of church history you pull from. A sermon is an act of exposition intended to evoke exultation and conclude with exhortation. That is, we expound on the biblical text, seeking to lead our congregation to experience a worshipful awe at these truths, which provides the fuel for exhorting them to obey King Jesus. Quotes can either enhance that process or hinder from it. (If you quote so often or in a way that it sounds like you're reading an essay with footnotes, you're doing it wrong.)

But here's why I quote often from the church fathers and why I recommend you consider doing so as well.... Read More
I would add a word or two of caution. First, we should cite the opinions of the church fathers only where such opinions are clearly agreeable to Scripture. Second, we should not depend upon the church fathers to interpret Scripture for us but rather should submit their opinions to Scripture. Third, we should not allow the church fathers to displace the Scriptures as our final authority in matters of faith and practice.

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