‘PREACH THE WORD!’ – The Recordings
Back in the 1960’s, American folk singer Bob Dylan sang, ‘The times they are a changin’. He was right. The last five decades have seen both ‘the best of times’ and ‘the worst of times’. The Church has experienced ‘times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord’ (Acts 3:19), massive growth in many parts of the world, a renaissance of outstanding biblical scholarship, and extraordinary seasons of Holy Spirit renewal and revival. At the same time, we’ve lived through some of the greatest crises in history.
Yet in changing times, one priority should not change: the insistent call of God to preach the gospel. Yet, we’ve observed a widespread loss of confidence in the Scriptures, and alarming confusion about their message. Hence, our witness has sometimes been muted, timid, and distorted. The greatest casualty has been the decline of bold, authoritative, biblical preaching. Many critics have predicted the complete demise of preaching altogether, as an obsolete relic of a former age. The result of this attitude has been widespread leakage of spiritual power, declining converts, and stunted spiritual growth in countless churches.
Aware of this tragedy, in the Autumn of 2003 at Westminster Chapel we embarked upon a preaching school that sought to remedy this problem: An eight month series of seminars called ‘Preach the Word!’, that opened with an outstanding address by the late Dr. John R.W. Stott on ‘The Parodoxes of Preaching’. Our aim was to inspire and raise the calibre and effectiveness of authentic biblical preaching across faithful Christian denominations in the worldwide body of Christ.
A wide range of outstanding teachers, preachers, and biblical communicators, were invited to share their skills, wisdom, and convictions on a host of themes related to this great task. Amazingly, over 800 delegates gathered together for eight months, eagerly returning to hear more. The transcripts of these sessions were edited, and then published in a single volume of 52 chapters, entitled ‘Preach the Word!’ (Sovereign Word).
To enable a wider audience to benefit again from those original presentations, we have decided to release all of the available audio recordings to many others, free of charge. Our hope is to quicken the same enthusiasm for preaching that profoundly affected all who attended the original conference, renewing their confidence in, and zeal for, this vital ministry.
Perhaps, the greatest legacy Westminster Chapel has always been known for, since its planting in 1841, has been the marriage of God’s Word and Spirit in the preaching of the Gospel and the whole counsel of God from his infallible Word. May these audios continue to foster the healthy marriage of ‘Word’ and ‘Spirit’ in the Body of Christ all over the world, in the 21st century.
The recordings will be added to the sermons page on our website, one per week, and will also be available through our iTunes podcast.