I’ve always found Stuart Olyott to be an underrated servant and preacher. When I preached through Mark’s gospel, few expositions I listed to were as consistently edifying as Olyott’s. He is bold, pithy, and direct—in the best way possible.
His book, Preaching: Pure and Simple, begins by mining the New Testament for instruction on what preaching is. Olyott shows, as he should, that biblical preaching involves four ideas represented by four Greek words.
Preaching Is . . .
- Heralding a message given by the King (kerusso): this tells us about the source of the message and the authority with which it comes.
- Announcing good news (euangelizo): this tells us about the quality of the message and the spirit in which it is given.
- Bearing witness to facts (martureo): this tells us about the nature of the message and the basis on which it is constructed.
- Spelling out the implications of the message (didasko): this tells us about the target of the message (the hearer’s conscience) and the measure of its success (did it change anyone’s life?).
He then concludes, “Until we are clear about this, we shall never really preach at all.”