You can go back and look at the importance that many of the old timers had for not messing around with preaching the Gospel.  There were warning signs all around that preaching was loosing prominence and that programs and pious clichés were taking over.  There was an amazing little article about a book of sermons where the author used the text, “they let him down in a basket” (Acts 9:25).  The fellow writing about the sermon said, “to pick a text like that out of the inexhaustible riches of God’s word is an absurdity.

It gets better though – “Are your ears red! A chance to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ to an
immortal soul about to be called before the Judge, and you went clear out to the
edge of God’s Word and presented him with a little peripheral pebble. You might have
preached Christ, as Paul always did; but no, you had a different idea. You could
have taken some important moment from St. Paul’s life when he, speaking by the
Spirit of God, gave some ringing revelation of divine truth important to all men for
all time; but no, you wanted to go away in a corner and pick up a little pebble that
no one else would think of using. So you talk about such things [circumstances
connected with the suggested event in the Apostle’s life} for thirty minutes to the
hungry souls in your congregation. And let them down in a sermon.”