Recently I've been discovering the benefits of reading about George Whitefield (1700s preacher to thousands who often found himself on the wrong side of the Church of England, people from Christ Church Central take note!). Here's something written about Mr Whitefield's preaching that struck a chord with me;
He never used that indefinite expression 'we', which seems so peculiar to English pulpit oratory, and which only leaves a hearer's mind in a state of misty confusion. He met men face to face, like one who had a message from God to them...The result was that many of his hearers used often to think that his sermons were specially meant for themselves.
I can't help but read things like that and think that
a. all our talk of 'explaining the bible' to people misses this dynamic, prophetic, direct and urgent aspect of preaching God's word out all together. Preaching is not less than 'explaining the bible' but it is surely much more.
b. our attempts to be winsome and accessible (a very good thing) sometimes mean we are light, vague, sometimes frivolous even.