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  • Writer's pictureMark Hallock

To Preach the Word, Pastors Must Know the Word

The body of Christ desperately needs to feed on the Word of God and this means that preachers must know the Word well enough to be able to feed them, for the health and nourishment of their souls! Walt Kaiser writes,

It is no secret that Christ's Church is not at all in good health in many places of the world. She has been languishing because she has been fed, as the current line has it, “junk food;” all kinds of artificial preservatives and all sorts of unnatural substitutes have been served up to her. As a result, theological and Biblical malnutrition has afflicted the very generation that has taken such giant steps to make sure its physical health is not damaged by using foods or products that are carcinogenic or otherwise harmful to their bodies. Simultaneously, a worldwide spiritual famine resulting from the absence of any genuine publication of the Word of God continues to run wild and almost unabated in most quarters of the Church.[1]

Kaiser’s diagnosis is both accurate and troubling. Many Christ-followers suffer today for lack of faithful, systematic instruction from the Word of God. What is the solution? We must, as Stanley Hauerwas has written,

“...stand under the Word because we know we are told what we otherwise could not know. We must stand under the Word because we know we need to be told what to do. We must stand under the Word because we do not believe we have minds worth making up on our own.” [2]

The Church of Jesus Christ is hungry, lost and wandering apart from God’s inspired, authoritative, sufficient Word. Therefore the Bible demands nothing less than faithful, expositional preaching of that God-breathed Word.

[1] Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Toward an Exegetical Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1981), 7-8.

[2] Stanley Hauerwas, “Preaching As Though We Had Enemies,” First Things (May 1995): accessed July 10, 2014,

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