Finding the Main Point

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Pastor Michael Huffman | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Nov 21 2011 6:06 AM

I need some very basic help and being a seminary graduate, am almost ashamed to ask. However, i need some clarification. I am an expository preacher and I am a veteran Logos user. But I need some clarification on using the opentext to find the "main idea" of the a specific text. The first step that I engage in when developing an expository sermon is to find the main idea (central theme) and develop the text around that. I know that the main ideal is very often, though not always, surrounded by the main verb. When using opentext or any of the other graphs, and you have several Primary Clauses across your text of verse (ex. John 16:12-15) with their main verbs and then you cross check Deepe and he has several "main verbs" across the passage, is there a process you all use to detect the main verb in those graphs? Thanks!

Pastor Michael Huffman, Th.A Th.B Th.M

Posts 10877
Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 21 2011 7:01 AM

Others will want to speak to greek usage, but especially in the synoptics and even early Paul, you're going to run into the problem of specific words referring to major concepts that the audience was well familiar with. The Samaritans (and greeks as well) took it to the point that the single key words strung together could equal the whole Penteteuch but be easily recalled by the audience.

"I didn't know God made honky tonk angels."

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 21 2011 7:42 AM

In opentext you can look for the Predicator that is connected directly to the main clause

In this cluase above "have" is the main verb

In this clause able is the main verb

In this clause "he will guide" is the main verb and "comes" is the verb in the secondary clause.

As you go through the opentext graph go through the primary clauses and identify the main verbs and subjects in each in each. Don't worry about the secondary and embedded clauses at first. The subjects and verbs in those will typically support the main actions or actors. As you do this, you will begin to see how the points are linked and can develop points and sub-points. Then you can determine what the main point or proposition of your message is.

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Pastor Michael Huffman | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 21 2011 8:15 AM

Thanks, Fred. Question, what about the multi-verse passage that have multi primary clauses and main verbs? In that situation, what process do you use to identify the the central theme?

 

Thanks.

Pastor Michael Huffman, Th.A Th.B Th.M

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 21 2011 8:19 AM

I use the the sentence diagramming tool to visualize what I learn from the syntax graph. Typically I will chnage the color to the entire passage to black; then I will identify all of the primary clause subjects and verbs in blue and red. Then I begin a basic outline to the right of the passage and try to group the thoughts, actions, and ideas expressed. This is the foundation for the points and subpoints of my message. Obviously the wording of each point changes as I study the passage; and sometimes the way I have points grouped may change.  

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 21 2011 8:31 AM

Michael Huffman:

Thanks, Fred. Question, what about the multi-verse passage that have multi primary clauses and main verbs? In that situation, what process do you use to identify the the central theme?

 

Thanks.

I posted the sentence diagram as you were posting this additional question. So that was not intended to be an answer to your second post; rather a follow up to my first post.

As for the question above, I use the same process. Context is really the driver for me in determining how points (identified by the subjects and verbs in the clauses) are grouped and how they are connected to some main thought or idea. Most of the time I begin to develop an understanding of what the main point or idea of a passage is during my initial reading and that sometimes changes once I have a better understanding of what the text dictates the main points are.

Matthew 28:19-20 is a great example of that. How many sermons have you (and me to) heard on the great commission that presents going and supporting those who go as the main point of the passage. Yet the main verb is "make disciples" going, baptizing, and teaching are actions that support the main verb.

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Pastor Michael Huffman | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 21 2011 10:29 AM

Thanks, Fred!

Pastor Michael Huffman, Th.A Th.B Th.M

Posts 179
Steve Shelton | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 21 2011 2:20 PM

I appreciate the question being asked, and the answer, and example given here.  It is nice to have all the tools found in Logos.  It is also helpful to know how others use the tools in their sermon prep.

Thanks

Steve Shelton, pastor  Central Baptist Church

Posts 7182
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 21 2011 8:26 PM

Michael,

Use the I-Beam workbook by Morris Proctor.  A friend gave me a copy and in it MO talks about the "Impression" and shows  you how to find it.  Nice little work book written without the technical jargon some homiletic books use.

DA

Posts 564
Jesse Blevins | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 21 2011 10:14 PM

go to learnlogos.com. John Fallahee has an entire webinar on this that is excellent.

Posts 179
Steve Shelton | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 22 2011 2:42 AM

Jesse

Thanks for the link to learninglogos.com. These webinar's look very interesting and I am going to try one.

Steve Shelton, Pastor,

Central Baptist Church, St Petersburg, FL

Sermonaudio.com

 

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Nov 22 2011 3:58 AM

Steve Shelton:

Jesse

Thanks for the link to learninglogos.com. These webinar's look very interesting and I am going to try one.

Steve Shelton, Pastor,

Central Baptist Church, St Petersburg, FL

Sermonaudio.com

 

I recommend John's webinars. That is where I learned the process mentioned above. He has talked about coming out with a more extensive series of webinars on the clause analysis tools next year.

Posts 143
Brian Maag | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 23 2011 5:57 AM

Which Learnlogos webinar covered this? He does some good stuff...

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 23 2011 6:20 AM

Brian Maag:

Which Learnlogos webinar covered this? He does some good stuff...

I believe it was webinar number 4 of the preparing sermons series

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