Should preaching aim more at our minds or our affections? While the answer may seem obvious to some, it’s not quite so obvious to others. One reason that it might not seem obvious is because there may not be an understanding of what preaching is nor the aim of preaching. If preaching is thought more of in terms of style, then preaching might only be associated with our arousing our affections. If preaching is thought more of in terms of content, then preaching might only be associated with informing our minds.
Let me press us a bit further.
Should we regard preaching as vocal exuberance devoid of biblical exposition? Think whooping and hollering here. Or should we regard preaching as merely a conveyance of biblical truth devoid of affection? Think academic presentation here.
Both are poor examples of preaching and here’s why. All preaching is to convey accurate biblical information to our minds. Think Romans 12:1-2 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17. We need biblical instruction for growth and worship. All preaching should arouse the emotions because the subject of the Bible is God’s grace extended to rebels through Jesus Christ. God is matchless in His essence and perfections (love, grace, mercy, faithfulness, benevolence, etc.) and Jesus is the exact imprint of His nature. Is this not worth being excited about? Think Psalm 16:11, Luke 24:32 and Acts 2:37. If we are preaching the truth of God and Christ, there will be affections because God is not boring!
So preaching should affect BOTH the mind and our affections.
“And he (Jesus) said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
(Matthew 22:37 ESV)
Respected pastors and theologians John Piper, Voddie Baucham and Miguel Nunez discuss this topic.