Preach with Authority, Not Authorities

A first-class book, The Mystery of Preaching, by James Black (pp. 127-28) warns against quoting. Paradoxically, the author relies on quotations, which I borrow. “Have you noticed,” asked James Denney, “that the Apostles seldom quote, except from the source of their authority?” “In my experience of listening to sermons,” declared George Adam Smith, “no art is more difficult than that of using relevant quotations.”

The following comes to me from John Oman: “Preach with authority, not with authorities.” Christ “taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes” (Matt. 7:29). This next comes from Howard Thurman: “Why do you quote so many authorities in your new book? If what you are saying is true, you do not need the authorities. If what you are saying is not true, all the authorities in the world cannot make it true.”

– Andrew Blackwood, Doctrinal Preaching for Today