SERMON PREPARATION
Dennis McBride

I love to study the Word and preach, but I've learned that neither can properly exist in a vacuum. I must know the text well enough to teach it with clarity, but I must also know my people well enough to help them apply it to their lives. That means I must genuinely love them, be involved in their lives (to the degree possible), and do my study with them in mind. For me, that has always been the greatest source of joy and encouragement in the ministry.

Regarding the text itself, I believe in the literal, grammatical-historical interpretation of Scripture. The specific hermeneutical principles I apply to a passage will vary depending on its literary format (narrative, parable, poetry, prophecy, and so on), but my goals are always the same: to discover what the passage says, what it means, and how it applies to my life. Once I've done that, I can teach it to others with accuracy and integrity.

A Bible passage may have many applications but it has only one meaning. My responsibility is to discover that meaning as accurately as possible with the study tools available to me. Toward that end I have assembled a reference library of approximately 1,200 volumes.


Study Method

I use a six-step study procedure, which I've briefly outline here. It is followed by a list of the primary hermeneutical principles I affirm.

1. Preparation

2. Observation

3. Interpretation

4. Consolidation

5. Correlation

6. Application


Hermeneutical Principles

1. The Clarity of Scripture

2. Accommodation of Revelation

3. Progressive Revelation

4. Scripture Interprets Scripture

5. The Analogy of Faith (Unity of Scripture)

6. The Unity of the Meaning of Scripture

7. Interpretation and Application

8. The Priority of the Original Languages

9. The Necessity of Literal Interpretation

10. Word and Grammatical Studies

11. Literary Mold or Genre

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