the shape of leadership

Why Preaching Requires Virtue

A conversation with Bob Eby

George P Wood on July 15, 2022


Phillips Brooks, the nineteenth-century minister who wrote “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” defined preaching as “the communication of Truth through Personality.”

Truth is “the most authoritative statement of God’s will,” he said. Personality refers to a preacher’s “character, his affections, his whole intellectual and moral being.” (As Pentecostals, we would add “or her” to Brooks’ statement.)

Absent genuine character, a preacher is merely a “printing machine” or a “trumpet,” not “a real messenger of God.”

In this episode of the Influence Podcast, I’m talking to Bob Eby about the relationship of preaching to the character or virtues of the preacher. I’m George P. Wood, executive editor of Influence magazine and your host.

Bob Eby is director of the Cordas C. Burnett Preaching Center and associate professor of Biblical Exposition and Preaching at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri. He is author of Virtue Hermeneutics: New Horizons in Textual Understanding, published by Pickwick Publications.

This episode of the Influence Podcast is brought to you by My Healthy Church, distributors of Bible Engagement Project.

Bible Engagement Project gives churches access to a library of kids curriculum and small group resources all in one subscription.

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