Thunder Over Bellingham and Preaching

Sermon prep for Sunday and listening to thunder roll over Bellingham. Reminded me of an important point Martyn-Lloyd Jones made about preaching via George Whitefield:

There is the sermon, a sermon which he has prepared; and then there is the ‘act’ of delivering this sermon. Another way of stating it is this. A man came – I think it was actually in Philadelphia – on one occasion to hear the great George Whitefield and asked if he might print his sermons. Whitefield gave this reply: “Well, I have no inherent objection, if you like, but you will never be able to put on the printed page the lightning and thunder.” That is the distinction – the sermon and “the lightning and thunder.” To Whitefield this was of very great importance, and it should be of very great importance to all preachers, as I hope to show. You can put the sermon into print, but not the lightning and thunder. That comes into the act of preaching and cannot be put into print. Indeed it almost baffles the descriptive powers of the best reporters. 

Praying for “lightening and thunder” on Sunday as we take up Mark 4:21-25.


Quote from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971), 58.

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One Response to Thunder Over Bellingham and Preaching

  1. Bill Alexander says:

    Your “lightning and thunder” has no equal that I have ever sat in on!!! Just keep on keepin’ on!!!
    If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read the book “Harbinger” by Jonathan Cahn, a messianic Jew–Isaiah 9:10 is the basis for the book–astounding, and very thought provoking. The book would make the basis for a bunch earth shaking sermons, for sure.
    Points out the fact that instead of shaking our fists in defiance at what happened on 9-11, we should have been collectively on our knees, humbly asking for God’s protection and guidance in what we should have done.

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