Question: Who are your five or six favorite living preachers? Why? What can we learn from them?
Let me begin by saying I am going to answer a question that was not raised: who are my favorite preachers living or dead? I simply cannot resist. Three of my favorite preachers of all time are now with the Lord. That would be W.A. Criswell, Adrian Rogers and Stephen Olford. Each of these men were anointed by God and used greatly for the building of the body of Christ.
Dr. Criswell was unique in so many ways. He, almost single-handedly, led a revival for expository preaching. His 1985 address at the SBC, “Shall We Live or Shall We Die,” was pivotal in the C.R. His voice was powerful and he had a commanding presence in the pulpit. He also proved you could have a PhD and still believe in the inerrant Word of God.
I never heard a more powerful preacher than Adrian Rogers. I guess you could say he was the total package! He had a voice like no one I have ever known, and he had a commanding presence in the pulpit that I believe was a result of his close and personal walk with the Lord. He is the godliest man I have ever known, and his impact on my life was enormous. He was such a clear and careful expositor who was also challenging and convicting in his preaching. I never heard him that I was not blessed. Of course the problem with Dr. Rogers is there is no one else like him. So, I learned from him the importance of fellowship with the Lord, the importance of illustrating well, and the importance of crafting a message that was easy to recall and made an impact on people.
Stephen Olford was a small man in terms of his physical stature but a mighty man in terms of his relationship with the Lord and power in the pulpit. I can remember listening to him as I would drive from Dallas to Fort Worth to attend seminary. One semester I listened as he walked straight through 2nd Corinthians. I was absolutely blown away at this man’s passion, careful exposition and ability to exhort us to be obedient to the Lord. The first time I ever heard him he preached a sermon on 1 Samuel 15 entitled “The Sin of Partial Obedience.” I was both overwhelmed and terrified by that message! These men have made a massive impact upon my life and I will forever be in their debt. In the next blog I will tackle the question I was asked concerning my favorite living preachers.