Lecture 9 – Earthiness

Back to Lessons

Audio  |   Video  |   Lecture Outline

6. The proclamation, explanation, and application of scriptural truths with earthiness, simplicity, and plainness of speech must constitute your continuous labor.

a. An explanation of the key words:



John C. Ryle, Christian Leaders of the 18th Century, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2002), pp. 24-25.


Thomas Brooks, The Works of Thomas Brooks, vol. IV, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1980), pp. 144-145.

b. A demonstration that this is the scriptural style of preaching

1) It is the way in which God spoke in giving the Scriptures.

2) It is the way in which our Lord spoke.

3) It is the way in which the prophets and apostles spoke.

James Stewart, Preaching, (London: English Universities Press, 1963), pp. 34-36.

Richard Baxter, The Reformed Preacher, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1974), pp. 115-116.

c. A declaration of the cost of cultivating such a style of preaching

1) It will cost you pride of elegance.

Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry, (Edinburgh: Banner of TruthTrust, 1976), pp. 311, 313.

Rev. Nicholas Murray, Preachers and Preaching, (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1860), p. 242.

2) It will cost you much self-denial and labor.

John C. Ryle, The Upper Room, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1983), pp. 51-52.

Ebenezer Porter, Lectures on Homiletics and on Preaching and on Public Prayer and Lectures on Eloquence and Style, (Andover, MA: Gould and Newman, 1836), pp. 176-179.

3) It will cost you opposition from your peers in organized religion.

C. H. Spurgeon, An All-round Ministry, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2000), pp. 353-354.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1972.), pp. 128-130.

d. Some practical cautions

1) Do not stereotype what this principle will mean in the real and varied situations of preaching.

2) Do not despise sanctified elegance where it is warranted.

John C. Ryle, The Upper Room, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1983), pp. 35-36.

3) Do not mistake earthy, simple, and plain preaching for coarse, vulgar, simplistic and shallow preaching.

John C. Ryle, The Upper Room, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1983), p. 38.

e. Materials to help

1) Study the models dead or alive, sacred or profane.

2) Read and re-read:

a) Ryle, Plainness in The Upper Room

b) Bridges, The Christian Ministry — the chapter on “Plainness in Preaching”

c) “Pray in” the scriptures themselves.

3) Constantly work at improvement all your days.

John Brown, The Resurrection of Life: An Exposition of First Corinthians XV, (Minneapolis, MN: Klock & Klock, 1978), pp.40-43.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top