Talking to ourselves about “Simeon Says”

What’s “Simeon Says”?

It’s a new podcast produced by EFAC-USA.

It’s official then, everyone has a podcast now?

Yeah, it seems that way.

So, what makes “Simeon Says” different?

“Simeon Says” is a collection of audio sermons from Charles Simeon.

Charles Simeon, the evangelical Anglican preacher who died in 1836? How’d you manage that?

It’s not Simeon’s voice you’ll hear preaching the sermons. It’s EFAC-USA President Zac Neubauer (and others, later on).

So, how did you get a hold of Simeon’s sermons?

Simeon preached thousands of sermons during his lifetime. Towards the end of his life, with the help of some curates, he edited his sermon manuscripts, omitting the specific references to his parish and other temporal details. What was left were “skeletons” of his sermons. He then published them as a multi-volume set. Here is an online version: https://www.bibliaplus.org/en/commentaries/168/charles-simeons-horae-homileticae.

Why would he go to all this work?

Simeon was the godfather of modern exegetical preaching. He was fond of saying, “My endeavor is to bring out of the Scriptures what is true and not to trust in what I think might be there. I have a great jealousy on this head, never to speak more or less than I believe to be the mind of the Spirit in the passage which I am expounding.” In this exegetical method, he became a proponent and teacher influencing thousands of clergy in the Church of England. His idea was that clergy could use his skeletons in their sermon prep, inserting in their own muscle and skin to make the sermons their own.

And these “skeletons” are still helpful today?

Certainly! Simeon was committed to expository preaching and committed to the evangelical Anglican tradition as found in the Anglican Formularies. This combination of commitments was powerfully used by God in Simeon’s fifty-four years of parish ministry at Holy Trinity Church, Cambridge. 

Since these “skeletons” don’t have “muscle and skin,” are they coherent enough to be preached aloud?

Yes, there’s still an obvious flow to them. Some of the parenthetical portions of the “skeleton,” such as verse references, are omitted in the recording. A link to the full text version is included in each podcast so that you can either follow along as you listen or follow-up on the parenthetical details later.

So, who do you think is going to listen to these “skeletons”?

The skeletons are neither long, nor full of archaic language; so, they are very accessible. The idea is that preachers can listen to them to help in preparation for their Sunday sermons, or laity can listen to them to help them better grasp the Scripture that’s being preached.

When will “Simeon Says” go live? 

The first “skeleton” drops April 10th, the day after Easter.

If Simeon preached so many sermons, how did you pick which ones to record?

The first series of “Simeon Says” starts the second Sunday of Eastertide and runs through the Day of Pentecost (including Ascension Day). The “skeletons” preached are the those for the Sunday Gospel reading in the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL).

The RCL stinks! Why did you choose to use that as the reference point?

There’s a lot of overlap between the RCL and other Sunday lectionaries in Eastertide. So, using those readings covers a lot of bases. 

Why not do the Old Testament readings, or the Psalms, or the Epistles?

We’d love to tackle those, too, at some point, but we have to start somewhere.

How can I listen?

There will be links on the EFAC-USA Facebook Page, Instagram, 39+ Blog, and also on our partner site ConfessingAnglicans.com, every Monday (and two the Monday before Ascension Day).

How can I find out more about Charles Simeon and expository preaching?

J. I. Packer wrote a great article. Here’s the link: https://www.monergism.com/expository-preaching-charles-simeon-and-ourselves. The same article will be linked in the show notes of every episode.

Author

  • Zac Neubauer

    Zac is President of the U.S. chapter of the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion, and currently serves as priest-in-charge at St. Clement's Episcopal Church in Rancho Cordova, California.