(Essential) books for preaching

preachAnna Carter Florence, over at The Christian Century, recently listed her 7 essential books for preaching. Her suggestions?

I think it’s a great list and, in addition to that growing list of ‘essential’ reading for the minister, and to some books on preaching I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I would want to suggest some further nominees:

I have here, on the main, deliberately chosen to not list books that attend primarily to issues of homiletical method (there are a plethora of excellent studies available on this) but rather to draw attention to those in which the evangelical content of preaching is the main concern. This decision was made because it is here at this point that the church faces its greatest crisis. We have loads of ‘excellent speakers’ and ‘gifted communicators’ who have absolutely nothing to say that’s worth hearing, let alone the Word of God. Recently, Ben Myers’ excellent review, titled Dietrich Bonhoeffer in New York, bore witness to this crisis. Reading my American Patriot’s Bible or my New Spirit-Filled Life Bible or my Green Bible (as opposed to my Green Chile Bible) will never be quite the same again.

Apologies (LOL) for another lengthy list, but Per Crucem ad Lucem is, after all, ‘a theology site on steroids’. Thanks Rick.

12 comments

  1. Worth checking out is Willimon’s Conversations with Barth on Preaching. A great introduction to his work, but teaches us ton on what he maintained about preaching. It has a couple of both their sermons through the text as well.

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  2. While this book is neither explicitly oriented toward preaching or theology, Will D. Campbell’s “Brother to a Dragonfly” in which he presents one of the clearest depictions of the gospel, namely, that “we’re all bastards but God loves us anyway.”

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  3. I just re-read my previous comment and realized that it makes no sense at all.

    I meant to say that while this book is neither explicitly oriented toward preaching or toward theology, Will Campbell’s Brother to a Dragonlfy presents one of the clearest depictions of the Gospel I have ever heard, namely, that “we’re all bastards but God loves us anyway.”

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  4. I know these sort of violate the ‘not on method,’ but they also deal with content: Sidney Greidanus, Preaching Christ from the Old Testament , Graeme Goldsworthy, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture , and, in a different vein, R. W. L. Moberly, The Bible, Theology, and Faith . I’m always amazed at how many “Christian” sermons are not Christ centered…

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  5. Thanks Nathan. All good books too, alongside which might be placed Graeme Goldsworthy’s Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture: The Application of Biblical Theology to Expository Preaching and Peter Adam’s Speaking God’s Words: A Practical Theology of Preaching, and others which I’ve listed here.

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  6. Hey, I’d add the recent texts by Michael Pasquarello III to this list. His Sacred Rhetoric is a great history of the theology of preaching, while Christian Preaching is an excellent theology of preaching from a Trinitarian perspective. Excellent stuff.

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  7. Good Post…I read ACF’s list elsewhere…but I am elated to know that you include James Denny’s magestic article on Preaching Christ! I ask all of my Homiletics students to read it…as well as Thinking Theologically, by Ronald Allen – a suggestive book – on various contemporary opetions for preaching. I would also include, if you love KBarth reading my 2007 Booklet The Word in this World:Two Sermons by Karl Barth (Regent) which includes a contemporary essay by Willimon and a Preface by Eberhard Busch – KB’s last secretary! My favorite homiletics text is, however, James S. Stewart’s Heralds of God! If this volume doesn’t increase your love of our dear Lord and the task of communicating the Gospel to this present age, nothing will!!!
    Blessings! Kurt

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  8. Good Post…I read ACF’s list elsewhere…but I am elated to know that you include James Denny’s magestic article on Preaching Christ! I ask all of my Homiletics students to read it…as well as Thinking Theologically, by Ronald Allen – a suggestive book – on various contemporary options for preaching. I would also include, if you love KBarth reading my 2007 Booklet The Word in this World:Two Sermons by Karl Barth (Regent) which includes a contemporary essay by Willimon and a Preface by Eberhard Busch – KB’s last secretary! My favorite homiletics text is, however, James S. Stewart’s Heralds of God! If this volume doesn’t increase your love of our dear Lord and the task of communicating the Gospel to this present age, nothing will!!!
    Blessings! Kurt

    Like

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