|Preaching has as its primary purpose reminding
believers of God's mercy and justice and calling them to respond by
living lives motivated by the Christ-life within them. When it stays
close to biblical patterns of preaching--which is not the same thing
as citing the Bible copiously-it can be most effective.
Preaching has had a bad name in Christian circles
almost from apostolic times. There are a number of reasons for this.
The basic one is that God and the things of God are ineffable;
therefore, when words about the divine are multiplied they attempt
to do the impossible. More practically, preachers have numerous
faults that can make the word of god unpalatable. They depart from
the biblical word and deliver a merely human word; they do not
sufficiently prepare what they mean to say; they deal in clichés,
thereby rendering their remarks predictable and otiose; they preach
too long. The latter is not a chronological judgment so much as the
perceived disproportion between the number of words spoken and the
----------Gerard S. Sloyan in, The Collegeville
Pastoral Dictionary of Biblical Theology.