D.A. Carson of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School talks about the danger of taking the sermons of others and using them as your own: "Preaching is far more than a merely intellectual exercise, for it is 'truth mediated through human personality,' and aims to communicate the very presence of God. By the same token, preaching is far more than a mere reading (usually unacknowledged) of someone else's sermon -- a practice far too common in this day of circulating compact discs with their 'best sermons.' This practice is of course morally despicable, since it is theft (and for that matter illegal, since such material is copyrighted and yet is being circulated on the tapes of the local church). "I am not referring to the almost inevitable borrowings of a person who reads a great deal, still less to the acknowledged borrowings of an honest worker, but to the wholesale reproducing of another's work as if it were your own. My concern here, however, is not so much with the immorality of such conduct as with the desperately tragic way in which it reduces preaching and the preacher, and finally robs the congregation. "The substance of a stolen sermon is doubtless as true (and as false) as when the originating preacher first said it. But here there is no honest wrestling with the text, no unambiguous play of biblical truth on human personality, no burden from the Lord beyond mere play-acting, no honest interaction with and reflection on the words of God such that the preacher himself is increasingly conformed to the likeness of Christ. Any decent public reader could do as much: it would be necessary only to supply the manuscript."

source: D. A. Carson, http://www.sbts.edu/resources/publications/sbjt/1999/1999Summer8.pdf tags: Preaching