Book Review – Models for Biblical Preaching (3/7)

Books

Well this isn’t exactly a book on how to do expository preaching, it is a book that shows you how an expository sermon should look like. What’s more, all the sermons in this book is on the old testament!9780801049378

Having just recently read the ‘Biblical Preaching’ by Haddon Robinson (an excellent book, I must add), I was very much eager to read this “follow up” book. Altogether there was 11 sermons inside. each from a different passage and genre.

I felt that the distribution of the genres and books were thought out and planned, no major genre were left out. The authors did not choose easy passages not did they used those frequently used passages, and a short commentary about the sermon itself was given each of them was presented.

What I felt was good about this book were the inclusion of the interview and commentary after each sermon. This really helps preachers old and new to see how others have been doing this work and also their tips and advice to preachers who have to preach to their congregation week after week.

Although not all the passages chosen were frequently used/seen, some of them were the more common ones that can easily be found elsewhere. And while each and every single contributors were students of Haddon Robinson and applied the skills as mentioned is his books on preaching, a more detailed study on each and every sermon would be more helpful. Understandably, based on the number of sermons included in this volume this would have made the task of reading a little repetitive. But since these are “models” maybe a more careful study on some or a few of them would be of more help to the reader.

Furthermore, would it be necessary for this book to be printed? I’m not sure about that. With more and more whole series on expository preaching (e.g. Preaching the Word, Reformed Expository Commentary, Mentor Expository Commentary, etc…) Would I have benefited more from them or from this book? Granted that these other series might not all use Robinson’s model, but with an average of 2-3 sermons for each genre, would that be sufficient? And without a detailed analysis of how the sermons reflects the model, would this book really help me if I’m trying to learn and utilise the model?

Don’t get me wrong, the sermons included in this book are good and deserves to be read by preachers. They would encourage you to stay on the course and help you see that preaching good sermons is something that can be accomplished, but I’m not certain whether this book would spur preachers to preach the Old Testament more or would have had the necessary tools to do that apart from the passages shown within the book.

Rating: 3.25/5

If you’re interested, you can get it here and here (free international shipping), Kindle.

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review – Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages (1/7)

Books

If you have dipped into a few preaching books on expository preaching, you would no doubt be referred on multiple times to Haddon Robinson’s Biblical Preaching. So it was with great joy and anticipation when I found that I can finally read this book.

Biblical PreachingRobinson first begins the book by making a case and defense for expository preaching. Though it was certainty not the most water-tight argument for expository, it does the job sufficiently. I have no doubts no readers who picked this book would rather have this book begin by making a lengthy defense for expository preaching. Robinson however does make show why expository is important and what is, and is not expository preaching. Too often the term ‘expository preaching’ is abuse by preachers and writers to an extent that almost any kind of preaching can be termed as expository preaching, Robinson refuses to do that and states clearly what he is teaching and advocating. His definition can be summarise as ‘communicating biblical concepts…. through proper exegesis… with the Spirit’s help in the preacher’s life and applying it to the hearers’

Robinson then takes the readers step by step through what can be commonly found in other expository preaching books. Deriving the main idea from texts, building an outline, asking functional questions (this section is very good), making good application, things to take note during preaching, how to introduce the audience to the text and how to conclude it.

I found the section on functional questions was very helpful, basically, there are 3 kinds of questions you might have to answer in every sermon, explaining, proving or applying it. This section really plays an important role in preaching, after all, what else could you do in preaching other than addressing these 3 questions?

Along the way, Robinson gives the reader tips and advice on what younger preachers can learn to do early on in their lives (e.g. having an index for illustrations for future use). At each step, Robinson guides the readers slowly, showing the necessity of each of these steps and their importance.

What I found was most helpful was the student exercises included at the back of the book, these I think really help drive the point home each time after I finished reading the chapter. I highly recommended and advice future readers to do each exercise after you have finished reading that particular chapter. The exercises help to recap and also illustrates Robinson’s point. Many a times, while doing the exercises, I find myself having light bulbs lighting in my head, due to the lucidity of these exercises.

Finally, Robinson brings the readers through one sermon he’s prepared and shows the reader how each and every part of the sermon is based on what he has taught us in the sermon. It was a great idea to include this is and really does bring the flesh onto the skeleton that he’s been teaching about.

All in all, this is an excellent book on preaching, though, I’m a little sad that no word was said about topical preaching, this really is a minor drawback. It would be good to include some advice for preachers who might want/have to preach occasionally a topical sermon, but still remain a committed expository expositor.

Rating: 4.25/5

If you’re interested, you can get it here and here (free international shipping), Kindle.

Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.