Preaching Sermons Theology

Letter from Australia 74 – Five Preachers Who Feed My Soul

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 –

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 –

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

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 –

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 –

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.


The Importance of Preaching in a Post-Covid World – AP

Letter from Australia 73 –  To Mask or Not to Mask – That is the Question


  1. Am very thankful to God for the three on my list ( Mr Begg especially) and yours and will give a listen to the other two that are not on my list.
    John MacArthur would be definitely be on my list, especially in my younger years.
    Thankful for your writing and faithfulness.
    May God be glorified though them all.

  2. Thanks WeeFlea for opening that up for discussion.
    I think Tim Keller comes across like me, a “know-it-all” and he is superior in that way. A friend of mine and I do not agree with his theology. But it is often about the words used like Francis Schaeffer used his own language at times and people did not always follow untill they took time to study more closely.
    I think Alistair Begg is or tries to be too funny and takes far too long. I don’t like him.
    The content is the most important thing and with all that is possible to access C.H. is still the prince of preachers for me. I read his messages and books over and over again.

  3. All good and great preachers of the word and the Truth.., David, and can listen too often, with wisdom , good teaching and learning.

    Remembering of course that ‘Denominations’ are all actually ‘Man made’ as there were none back in Jesus’ day..!

    Some denominations are controlling, some without much Joy really, and some so high on the ‘Holy Spirit of God’ part of the Holy Trinity, that they sometimes could be from another planet, and certainly not grounded from planet earth..!

    The word ‘Christian’ as we know was actually a derisory and derogatory term back in the day , 2023 years ago… well let’s say 1993 years ago.., as Jesus, Yeshua, did not actually start His preaching until He was 30….Is the phrase, ‘Follower of Jesus’ not a bit more accurate ..?

  4. David, Are you sure that Alistair Begg, actually preached 42 years ago.., as he does not look a day past 40..! His Scottish / Mid Atlantic / American accent is superb as his sense of humour, which, with respect, has been a tad lacking these days..?

    Btw we met at your very last Scottish talking/ presenting / preaching session, before you were off to Australia , up at Moodiesburn, nr Glasgow I think.., You asked me to present a question from the men’s meeting of the day, was questioning the ‘so called political correctness ‘ stuff and guff’….which you answered perfectly from a biblical perspective..!

  5. One of my other favorite Scotch preacher here in the USA ( aside from Pastor Begg) is Pastor Colin Smith, Orchard Church in Barrington, Illinois. Every time I hear him, I am fervently challenged to apply His word to my life.

  6. Preachers so easily become celebrities and that’s a bad thing for everyone. On the whole I’m attracted to the unassuming and plain preacher who simply preaches God’s word. Having said that I really like John Piper who so often gets to the heart of the text (uncomfortably so). I prefer reading transcripts of messages to listening to preachers but that’s an energy thing…

  7. It is indeed a humbling joy to hear one’s son preaching with engaging clarity and gospel faithfulness.

  8. I grew up in London and attended St. Helens Church, Bishopsgate where the great Dick Lucas ministered. He was, and though now quite elderly, still is a superb bible teacher / preacher. I still listen regularly to his talks through the St. Helens media center. There are also hundreds of excellent talks by many others.

  9. From before my time and in language and phraseology of its time but remaining of today is D Martyn Lloyd Jones.
    But for someone who brings objectivity and subjectivity together getting to the mind and heart, with such ease, that comes from depth of learning and preach/teaching I find Sinclair Ferguson is an exemplar. It is so very far from a message that underlies much preaching, which is, “must try harder.”
    Tim Keller has helped me always look for the Good News of Christ in all preaching as opposed to good information and/or good advice.
    I’d add Dick Lucas to those I’ve benefited from.

  10. Thanks, David, what a treat. Great to see that expository preaching is still alive and well; and a place for humour too.
    Have an anointed New Year.

  11. Rev Duncan Mac Callum ,Rev Eric Alexander , Rev Alasdair Ross , Rev William ( Bill) Ritchie, Rev Derek Isles , Rev Eric MacLachlan , Rev Peter Bissitt , Rev J E MacInnes , Rev Douglas MacMillan , Rev John Murray , Rev Tom Urquhart .
    My present minister and probably many more . Some are in the Master’s presence , but they all left a mark on me , for which I am deeply grateful.

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