All Topical Studies offers topical studies because, week by week, preachers must say something intelligent on an intimidating list of topics raised by biblical texts. To do so they need to become minor experts on a good number of them.

Which topics? Everything under the sun that’s in the Bible: God, sin, grace, the beauty of creation; life, death, justice, the kingdom of God; faith, hope, love, the death of Jesus; compassion, peace, comfort, the miracle of Easter; pilgrimage, aging, wonder, the ascension of Jesus; terror, alienation, hell, the judgment of God; longing, betrayal, redemption, the joy of heaven. The list of topics on the preacher’s agenda intimidates all but the foolish. Yet the preacher has no choice but to learn them.

Hence these studies. We define the topic. We list the most important (and preachable) Scriptures in which the topic appears. Then we comment on the topic, going after its essence. What’s the heart of a Christian view of compassion, for example, or of the deadly sin of envy? These studies offer at least one straight, true path through each topic offering preachers a promising direction for their sermons. Along the way, the studies also offer juicy tidbits that might spice a sermon’s interest to listeners.

All along, the studies aim to be economical enough to restrain their length but not so economical as to mystify. This is quite a trick. It’s the same one congregations hope for when they sit to listen to the preacher’s Sunday sermon.

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