The Bible alone is the preacher's primary source for proclaiming the Gospel, for it alone is a supernatural book. Someone has well said that the Word is shallow enough to where a little child can come and get a drink without the fear of drowning, and yet it is deep enough that the theologians can swim in it forever and never touch bottom.
It is not enough to thump the Bible. It is not enough to affirm the written Word. We must proclaim the Living Word.
Although the Bible is a supernatural book, it is not automatically applicable to today's world. The Bible alone is not enough. It takes the Holy Spirit of God to open our understanding to the truth of God's Word. The preacher must study the Scriptures to determine the proper meaning of a text and then attempt to apply that truth to human needs. Scripture only has one meaning, and that is the meaning that God gave through the authors. It may have ten thousand applications, and a good preacher can take that one meaning, that one proof, whatever it is, and apply it to human hurts and needs in a multiplicity of ways.
A strong conviction of the inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture is a prerequisite if the preacher is to have authority in his message, for it is the authoritative Word that causes people to believe and behave.
Disbelief in the inerrancy of Scripture emasculates the preacher because it leaves him without authority. Liberalism and the moderate approach do not excite people. An individual would not say, "Well, praise God, hallelujah, the Bible may be in error." Nor will they say, "Well, glory to God, Jesus was not born of a virgin"; nor "Hallelujah, praise God, we are not necessarily saved by the blood of Christ." Doubts do not engender zeal and enthusiasm. People will say, "Praise God, the Bible is true, hallelujah, Jesus was born of a virgin; thank God for the power of the blood."
A preacher cannot declare to a congregation "this may be true and engender any real zeal. Without an infallible word from God, we have nothing but a holy hunch, and that will not do.
Liberalism is a relative term, dependent upon where one draws the center line of this thing called Christendom. I [Adrian Rogers] would define "true inspiration" as being convinced that all Scripture is inspired by God.
That said, I'd define a liberal Southern Baptist as a person who does not believe in the veracity, exactitude, integrity, infallibility, and inerrancy of the Scripture. Even if he believed that the Word was inspired in its purpose but not in its entirety, he may be right of the center in regard to Christendom but left of the center line in Southern Baptist circles.
The moderate is a person who may believe the Bible to be without error, but who also believes in inclusivism. He is a person who maintains the position of accommodating the liberal view. I believe the moderate to be more inclined to opinions than convictions.
On the other side of the spectrum, the authoritative Word engenders conviction, which engenders zeal, and this zeal engenders church growth.
For a preacher to be powerful, he must be authoritative, and he cannot be authoritative unless there is a sure word from God. There was a time when preachers would stand in the pulpit, hold up the Word of God, and say, "The Bible says." Then they started saying, "The church says." Now they just scratch their heads and say, "Well, it seems to me."
The inerrancy of the Bible equips the preacher with authority in the pulpit, for it supplies the preacher with the right to stand up and declare "Thus saith the Lord." When the Bible speaks, God speaks. That puts a ring of authority into what the preacher has to say. The preacher is not a demagogue, he is not an authoritarian, but there is no stutter, no stammer, no apology. There is no backing away from preaching the Word. He should never be guilty of testing the temperature of the water. What the Bible says, he must say.
I am not a prophet, not an apostle, but because of the inerrancy of the Word, I can preach with the authority of a prophet or an apostle when I preach what the prophets and apostles preached.
*This question and answer were extracted from "Love Worth Finding: The Life of Adrian Rogers and His Philosophy of Preaching.”