Dear brothers and sisters,
As the book of Ecclesiastes (very revised version) says’ “of making many YouTube videos, there is no end, and much listening wearies the body”! We do have a plethora of preachers to listen to online. In ye old days you could get Spurgeon’s penny sermons printed the following week – now we are spoilt for choice. I was not the greatest fan of listening to other preachers, disconnected from their immediate context but in this past year I have gained an appreciation for those preachers who have fed my soul.
I realise that there is a danger in people forsaking their own local preacher for someone who whom neither they nor he have any accountability. I also know that preaching online is not the full real experience of being gathered with God’s people in public worship to hear the Word of God, preached. But it can be really helpful. Perhaps because I have not been doing that much preaching myself I have found myself listening to others more often. Some I listen to occasionally because it reminds me how damaging bad preaching can be! But I listen to the following five pretty well every week and find that they are enormously helpful. They are not in any particular order – three are Scottish – (an American once told me that if you have a Scottish accent is a great advantage in preaching – at least in the US!) one American and one Australian. Three are Presbyterian, one Baptist and one Anglican.
Sinclair Ferguson – from St Peters Free Church in Dundee – https://stpeters-dundee.org.uk
Sinclair brings things out of the Word of God which are there but which I did not see. I love his depth, delivery and focus on the glory of Christ. It’s worth listening to and watching the whole service from St Peters – the praise is the best of any I have heard online – and that from a Scottish Free Church (they do of course have the advantage of having at least one psalm every service!).
Simon Manchester – We listen to Simon every Sunday morning at 8am on Hope radio – https://hope1032.com.au/programs/christian-growth-simon-manchester/
Simon is the preacher who taught me that you can have depth of content within a short period of times. He does not do short sermons! They are a masterclass of biblical exposition.
Tim Keller – https://podcast.gospelinlife.com
It’s fashionable in some ‘Reformed’ circles to raise one’s eyebrows when Keller is mentioned. I’m not sure I quite understand why. Tim is someone who over the years I have consistently been feed by. His exposition of the scriptures and applying them to the culture is second to none. I pray that he will be with us for many years to come.
Alistair Begg – https://www.truthforlife.org
42 years ago, I heard Alistair, then a young Baptist minister from Glasgow, preach a great sermon at the Strathpeffer convention from Colossians entitled Bombing the Landing Strip (I very much doubt that anyone will remember a 42-year-old sermon of mine – in a few years time!). He is now at Parkside and his recent series on 1 Samuel has been so wonderful for our times.
This is only a clip from a sermon – but it is wonderful…
Andrew Robertson – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2SC7RXekX9eLkqmTsQy4SA
The difficulty here is that Andrew is my son. Any Christian father would be proud of their son being a preacher of the Word – and so there is a danger that one’s judgement is biased. However Andrew has an extraordinary gift for communicating the Word – and he does so in a context where ‘wiser’ people would say that preaching does not work.
This is a great example of interactive preaching in the midst of a crisis…The service starts at about 8 minutes).
I hope you benefit from all of these – and I pray that the Lord blesses you with a faithful, compassionate and powerful preacher of God’s Word in your own church,
See you in the New Year.