Preaching has fallen on hard times with many questioning its relevance and even its validity as a New Testament practice. This symposium of specially commissioned essays draws together an international team of thirteen scholars and pastors to address the importance of textual preaching in the history and life of the early church, the historic church, and the contemporary church. Contributions include essays on Old Testament preaching; preaching in Eastern Orthodoxy; gender-sensitive preaching; preaching in the theology of Jonathan Edwards, Charles Spurgeon and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It also includes essays on a range of homiletical challenges that textual preaching raises for the contemporary preacher, including genre, preaching without notes, inhabiting the text, and preaching without platitudes. A final reflection by Dave Hansen on the state of textual preaching rounds out the collection.
The preaching of the gospel stands at the heart of Christian praxis. These essays make a vital contribution to the recovery of the importance of preaching, focused on the text of Scripture. Written with an eye to the pastor and practitioner as well as those in the pews and in the classroom, this is a book that is appealing to a wide range of readers.
Foreword by Thomas Long
List of Contributors
Part One: Biblical and Theological
1. Hebrews as a Model for expository Pastoral Preaching
2. Christ the Sermon: The Importance of the Text in Bonhoeffer’s Lectures on Preaching
3. Prophetic Preaching from Old Testament Narrative Texts
Steven D. Mathewson
4. Preaching The Darkest Psalm (Psalm 88)
David M. Howard, Jnr
5. Gender Sensitive Preaching: Reading as a Woman
Part Two: Historical
6. Jonathan Edwards on Preaching
Oliver D. Crisp
7. The Bible for The Masses: The Popular Preaching of C. H. Spurgeon
8. Homiletics, and Biblical Fidelity: An Ecclesial Approach to Orthodox Preaching
Part Three: Textual
9. Living with the Text
10. Defamiliarization: Purging our Preaching of Platitudes
11. Preaching without Notes
12. Genre Sensitive Preaching
13. From Text to Message: The Text Living in the Preacher
14. Every Sermon Fights a Battle
Endorsements and Reviews
This is an invigorating and courageous set of essays. Ignoring easy and fashionable platitudes, the authors dare to ask what preaching might be if we believe that God has spoken in Scripture and speaks still in its exposition. The vision is enriched by historical study and sharpened by contemporary application. Every preacher will be encouraged and challenged in equal measure by this text, and will be better at his/her calling for reading it.
Stephen R. Holmes, Senior Lecturer in Theology, University of St Andrews
… this collection of essays is unique and valuable … [Text Message] will prove to be at least thought-provoking, if not also practice-altering. Its style is accessible and many of its suggestions are immediately practical. It is recommended, then, to all preachers who share this conviction. Scholars of preaching will also find much to respond to within it. Further, the volume as a whole, or selected essays within it, could be used in a course on expository preaching.
William J. Brennan III, in Reviews in Religion and Theology, Vol 25, Issue 1