Rhetoric and Homiletics: That’s How You Illustrate & Close

Who:  Willie Rice

Where:  Calvary Church — Tampa, Florida

When: Sunday Morning Message – 10/24/2021 —
A WORTHWHILE Listen!  Reasoned, Temperate, & Challenging!

What:  Closing Illustration & Conclusion

Audio: m4a

Audio: Mp3

Some of the hardest work in sermon preparation [1] is working on how best to communicate what is clear and obvious within the passage. [2]

Throughout the message, Pastor Willie Rice illustrates that principle.   He reveals that he has done his homework by pulling together materials in a powerful way, from the beginning through the end.

The truths of the passage are clear and obvious, but how best to communicate the truths of that passage is where Pastor Rice’s work in sermon preparation is so evident and lucid.

It takes work to find that illustration that drives home the point of the message at the end.  Pastor Rice did exactly that, drove home the whole message in a powerful way by finding and working with such an effective conclusion. [3]

. . . . 

1.  Can I suggest — and argue — that many times in the preparation of a sermon . . . .

 the hardest part

most of the sermonic work
some of the most intense brainwork
the expenditure of mental energy
the greatest amount of time  . . . .

Begins At This Point

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It begins with laying out the body of the sermon, the main points, and goes on from there — to the hours before and even up to and including its presentation.

Generally, the time taken to know and understand what this-or-that Bible passage teaches does not consume nearly the time that these elements take:

how to build and/or structure the sermon
“writing” it
“re-writing” it
illustrating broad or individual points
thinking of applications
cutting parts out
adding other pieces in
anticipating possible resistance
revising – revising – re-writing
changing the way to go about . . . . .
deciding on an introduction
thinking it through — as a whole
visualizing the whole as it should go and flow
getting it generally down in our minds
generating ways or other ways to go about it
generating different ways to say or word this-or-that
visiting and revisiting how to conclude it all

These kinds of elements of sermonic construction will have the hands of the clock spinning – spinning unnoticed.

. . . . 

2. Peter Mead did an article on Preaching where he employed the idea of preaching “a half message.”
The title, “A Half Message,” reflects the idea that a sermon has two sides.

“Explain it” and not “Applying It” is #10.

You can know and explain what the passage says, but fail to do what the passage does not do for you — and that is — apply it.

That takes mental rhetorical work!  The applications are surely not found in the biblical verses, but are generated in the mind of and through the work of the speaker as he considers his audience, the culture, the communicating and arguing for present-day examples, etc.

Peter Mead:  10 Ways to Half Preach A Text”
November 2011 — Biblicalpreaching.net

10. Explain it, but don’t apply it.
9. Commentary it, but don’t proclaim it.
8. Preach a plethora of cross-references.
7. Preach a preferred cross-reference.
6. Impose a sermon structure instead of letting the text’s structure influence your message.
5. Use the context, but ignore the content.
4. Use the content but ignore the context.
3. Preach a generic message or idea from what could be any text.
2. Preach from the details, but don’t figure out how they work together to give the main idea.
1. Say just enough about the text to introduce what you want to say.

. . . . 

3. Many times preaching conclusions are a series of “applicational questions” — “Do you need to . . . .” / “How would this apply to your life if you were to . . . . ” / “Where would we be if we believed this to be true in our lives.”  or — “I wish I had more time to develop the applications of this passage to our lives.”

. . . . .


— Link to the full message:  https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?ref=watch_permalink&v=465603931463322


I was weeping in the most bitter contrition of my heart, when I heard the voice of children from a neighboring house chanting, “take up and read; take up and read.” I could not remember ever having heard the like, so checking the torrent of my tears, I arose, interpreting it to be no other than a command from God to open the book and read the first chapter I should find. Eagerly then I returned to the place where I had laid the volume of the apostle. I seized, opened, and in silence read that section on which my eyes first fell: “Not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy; but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” No further would I read, nor did I need to. For instantly at the end of this sentence, it seemed as if a light of serenity infused into my heart and all the darkness of doubt vanished away.

— sermon illustration material link:  http://sermonillustrations.com/a-z/a/augustine.htm

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