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The Reformed Baptist has a decent post on idendifying bad preaching, though it shows signs of neo-fundamentalism.  Here’s my summary list.

  1. The preacher fails to read or refer to scripture during the sermon.
  2. The preacher bases his points around some non-biblical metaphor or story, using scriptures to support the points of the story
  3. The preacher uses a scripture as a springboard, but then assembles his points from various other scriptures
  4. The preacher focuses on "how to" messages
  5. The preacher focuses only on felt needs, and not on sin
  6. The preacher fails to communicate any specific doctrine
  7. The preacher preaches moralism and God, but not Jesus (litmus test:  Could the sermon be easily preached in a Synagogue?)

There are a couple of neofundie errors here, but in general, I agree.   NFs like to focus almost exclusively on expository preaching, and frown upon topical study.  Point number three shows this bias, and I wish the author would have mentioned that good topical study is the exception to "springboard preaching."

Also, the NF dislike for messages that focus on people’s needs (because they see this as man-centered, and marketing-oriented) is seen in points 4 and 5.  Thankfully, the author allows for *some* how-to preaching, and I agree that we can’t just give people what they want or think they need.  We need the whole counsel of God.  And using marketing surveys and such to figure out what people are needing is not a bad way to choose your sermon topics once in a while, rather then forcing them to conform to what you are focusing on.

As far as generic moralizing, using non-biblical metaphors as an outline, and failing to use scripture in preaching (points 1,2,7), I totally agree that these are weak, if not lazy ways for a Christian preacher to preach.

Regarding point 6, I agree, although NFs focus on doctrine a lot, as evidenced by their zeal and common vitriol in attacking charismatic, danielg sensitive and emerging church proponents.  But doctrine is good, no real argument there.