Books on Preaching

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TomVols

Puritan Board Freshman
Two part question:

1. What is the best book on preaching that you have read and recommend that is a "how to make a sermon" type book? That is, a book that's on the mechanics of sermon development and construction

2. What is the best book on preaching you've read and recommend that's not necessarily a "how-you-make-a-sermon" book? This book may not offer five steps to build a sermon, but it deals with the task in a meaningful way.

For instance, you could have Jerry Vines book as #1, or perhaps Stott's Between Two Worlds, whereas #2 would be a book like the Doctor'sPreaching and Preachers or Feed My Sheep

Hope this question makes sense.
 

CharlieJ

Puritan Board Junior
For #2, I would say Dennis Johnson's Him We Proclaim. It's a book on the theology and theory behind redemptive-historical preaching. I think that Chapell's Christ-Centered Preaching is a fine book, but with everything else it does, it doesn't necessarily get the "Christ-centered" part down very thoroughly. Johnson's work is 400 packed pages on how to legitimately bring out the Christocentric redemptive-historical aspect of messages. It examines not just the general theology and theory, but also ideas for OT and NT, and different literary genres.
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Dabney's Sacred Rhetoric is good.

I also think Jay Adam's Preaching with Purpose is very good.
 

Ezekiel3626

Puritan Board Freshman
For #1, I will go with "On the preparation and delivery of sermons", John A. Broadus, New and Revised Edition 1944- Editor: J.B. Weatherspoon
For #2, I will go with "Lectures to my students", C.H. Spurgeon, Pilgrim Publications reprint, not the CFP edition. See this review.
 

Grymir

Puritan Board Graduate
#1 -> Chapell's Christ-Centered Preaching is great.

#2 -> I'm reading Dabney's Sacred Rhetoric right now. It's very good.
 

ChristianHedonist

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm not quite sure which category it would fit in, but The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper is quite good-at least the portions of it that I've read so far.
 

Michael Butterfield

Puritan Board Freshman
For #2, I would say Dennis Johnson's Him We Proclaim. It's a book on the theology and theory behind redemptive-historical preaching. I think that Chapell's Christ-Centered Preaching is a fine book, but with everything else it does, it doesn't necessarily get the "Christ-centered" part down very thoroughly. Johnson's work is 400 packed pages on how to legitimately bring out the Christocentric redemptive-historical aspect of messages. It examines not just the general theology and theory, but also ideas for OT and NT, and different literary genres.

What! A GPTS student that does not even mention John Carrick's book?

-----Added 3/10/2009 at 01:21:17 EST-----

For #1 Dabney Sacred Rhetoric or as it is sometimes called On Preaching; Adams Preaching With Purpose
For #2 John Angell James An Earnest Ministry: The Want of the Times; Murray A. Capill - Preaching with Spiritual Vigour
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
I would echo - John Carrick's book - The Imperative of Preaching

But I would add what has been VERY helpful for this young preacher - Jay Adams - Truth Applied.
 

TomVols

Puritan Board Freshman
For #1, I will go with "On the preparation and delivery of sermons", John A. Broadus, New and Revised Edition 1944- Editor: J.B. Weatherspoon
For #2, I will go with "Lectures to my students", C.H. Spurgeon, Pilgrim Publications reprint, not the CFP edition. See this review.
I'm a fan of the Dargan edition of Broadus. and I own the Zondervan edition of "Lectures..." which was what was required at SBTS. Thanks for the heads up on the Pilgrim version. Wonder if the version available at Solid Ground Books is the fuller one?
 
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Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
I would agree with Adams and Chappell.

An almost "forgotten" book (I got it at Cumberland Valley BBS on clearance once) is Mike Ross's Preaching for Revitalization. How refreshing to see a book that looks to the means of grace in revitalizing the church! It's not really a "how to" book, but I always recommend it to preachers!
 

TomVols

Puritan Board Freshman
I would agree with Adams and Chappell.

An almost "forgotten" book (I got it at Cumberland Valley BBS on clearance once) is Mike Ross's Preaching for Revitalization. How refreshing to see a book that looks to the means of grace in revitalizing the church! It's not really a "how to" book, but I always recommend it to preachers!
I'd like to hear more about Ross's book
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
I'd like to hear more about Ross's book

It's 400 miles away right now in Louisville! :lol:

Seriously, here is a blurb at Monergism, with some recommendations. Here are some quotes (copied from a very hard-to-read blog) that might also give you a flavor:

"It is the pastor's duty to seek for the revitalization of a declining congregation and to seek to lead in this revitalizing work through the primacy of the pulpit." p. 17

"True church revitalization can never take place and be maintained unless it is the product of a biblical pulpit." p. 19

"Church growth techniques give much higher priority and emphasis to location adn facilities, small groups, managerial style, laity participation and evangelistic methods of outreach than to preaching." p. 31

"The crisis of the American pulpit is not one of communication theory, but rather one of content, conviction and consistency of theology and life." p. 35

"It is no matter of coincidence that the Reformation began in Zurich, Switzerland, when Zwingli decided to forsake the Lectionary and began to preach, expositorily and verse by verse through the New Testament..." p. 48

"The Puritan preachers truly believed that what they did in the preaching of the Word of God was the most strategic thing they were called to do as ministers, the most important event in the local congregation's life, and the most essential element of a godly, healthy and balanced church life." p. 52

"Preachers no longer get excited about preaching and, therefore, neither do their congregations." p. 55

I also found this helpful review:

In his excellent book Preaching for Revitalization, Michael F. Ross describes a shift in literature on preaching. Prior to the twentieth century, books did not indicate that preaching was in decline or a question in people's minds. "Rather their emphasis is on the spiritual aspects of preaching: the minister's life and heart, prayer, Spirit-led preparation, the hope of the gospel, and so forth."

In the 1930s and 1940s, books began to describe a decline in preaching.

Ross describes how the emphasis has shifted in response to this crisis in modern literature:

Overall, the current works focus most on communication theory and practice - style, SAIs (stories, analogies and illustrations), voice methods and time usage - while the earlier works dwell and content, theology, spiritual motivations and the character of the minister.

Ross argues that we need to look beyond communication skills if we want to see a revival of biblical preaching:

The crisis of the American pulpit is not one of communication theory, but rather one of content, conviction, and consistency of theology and life...This is not to say that communication theory and practice are not important, but rather to keep two concepts separate: homiletics and preaching. Good homiletics does not necessarily result in good preaching. Homiletics does not transform the soul; true preaching does!
 

Curt

Puritan Board Graduate
Broaddus is excellent. I don't know what they use at Covenant Seminary anymore (though I could give a good guess!), but this is what Bob Rayburn had us use when I was there.
 
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