Past Masters - Alexander Maclaren: a Great Expositor

Topics: Christianity, Sermon, Homiletics Pages: 2 (477 words) Published: April 17, 2013
What is it that makes someone a great preacher? After reading John Bishop’s article, Alexander Maclaren: A Great Expositor, I would like to share with you what I believe made him the Past Master that we know him as today. We will take a look at his strengths, possible weaknesses, and then finally, how this reading has influenced me as an individual.

When looking at Alexander MacLaren’s strenghts, I think it is important to start it off with the following quote from the article:

“I have always found that my own comfort and efficiency in preaching have been in direct proportion to the depth of my daily communion with God. I know no way in which we can do our work but in fellowship with God, in keeping up the habits of the student's life, which needs some power of saying ‘No’ and by conscientious pulpit preparation. The secret of success in everything is trust in God and hard work.”

I believe that this was his greatest strength, and from it all his other strengths flowed. Let us now look at what specifically made him a great preacher and expositor: - He was firmly ground in Hebrew and Greek

- He preached almost exclusively on Biblical content, he left current events out of the pulpit - He stayed with the text
- He got the “substance” out of the text
- He explained subjects with metaphors and carefully thought out illustrations - His applications of the text was as practical and relevant as it was personal - All his sermons had the same organizational pattern: Three Heads as a rule - “His mind was so full of his Subject that thought of self had no place” - He was not self conscious

- He preached Christ and lived to make Him known
- He approached his expositions with the spirit of a learner - He was a great speaker
- His style was influenced by English poetry
- He spoke without notes
- His sermons took about forty minutes to deliver

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