Chapter 11, “The Requirements of Public Preaching” pp. 60-85
The task of preaching is of paramount importance. Walther lists seven critical elements.
- God’s pure Word
- Correct application
- Proclamation for salvation
- meet special needs
- not too long
It is good preaching that keeps people in church. Failure to attend to preaching brings guilt on the pastor. Sermons require hard work. Walther, citing Luther, on p. 62 lists numerous failings which pastors are prone to develop by not handling God’s Word rightly.
Beginning on p. 63 Walther discusses different rhetorical uses of sermons. He confutes the belief that every sermon must address every issue. Rather, the text must rule the message.
As Walther unpacks his initial list of seven critical elements in the sermon the recurring theme is to proclaim God’s Word to God’s people in a way they can understand, convicting of sin and encouraging in salvation.