What about preaching? Is it really necessary? Is it not an indifferent medium for which we may substitute something else? Or is there something intrinsic to the preached Word that makes it essential for the Christian? Michael Horton answers the question this way: Preaching is not God's chief means of grace because of any preference for intellectualism (preaching is aimed at the mind). Rather, it is because God gets all of his work done--in creating, sustaining redeeming, calling, and restoring--by speaking his Word. . .We gather each Lord's Day to hear God, not to see inspiring symbols, express our spiritual instincts, have exciting experiences, or even merely to hear interesting and informative discourses. Furthermore, we come not only to hear this Word proclaimed in the sermon but to hear God address us throughout the service; in the "votum" (or "God's Greeting"), in the law, in the absolution (or declaration of pardon), in the public reading of Scripture, in the benediction. . .Although private reading of the Bible is of enormous value in strengthening our faith by deepening our understanding, God has chosen preaching as a social event of hearing that makes strangers into a family.
For the full 4 page article, acquire Modern Reformation magazine, Jan-Feb 2010 edition.