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When it comes to preaching, one of the age old debates is how to preach. Should a preacher preach only expositional or topical or both? There are strong advocates for both but which is right?

In case I have already lost you or you just feel lost, let me define the terms. An expositional message is one that typically stays in one text in the Bible. Many but not all would also add the word sequential which means that they preach verse by verse, book by book. If you are in John 1:1-5 on Sunday morning then you would probably be in John 1:6-18 Sunday night.

Now topical is easier to explain. You have a topic and you preach on it. You may skip around or you may stay in one text. Topical can bring a wide variety of topics because there is no set order. Most preachers who use topical messages preach in series. This might mean a series on the family or a series on the basics of the Christian faith.

Personally, I prefer expositional and sequential preaching. That, as much as I would like to deny it, is only a preference. There is no verse that says you must preach this way. But neither is there a verse that says you must preach topical either. So advocates for that are on the same level as for the other. It is all preference.

Here is where we take a sharp left turn: The question is not is a sermon to be expositional or topical in order to be the correct way. The correct question is whether or not the sermon is exegetical.

What does exegetical mean? Find out tomorrow!

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