5 Stars Out Of 5
The first prerequisite in preaching
July 17, 2014
Over the years I have read many books on the art and craft of biblical preaching. In nearly all of them, the reader is implored to hone his homiletical skills from the study to the pulpit. What Steven Smith's book adds to that instruction is the insistence that none of those preparatory steps will achieve eternal results apart from the preacher's willingness to first surrender himself to His Lord, the sacred text, and the audience to whom he preaches. Using the Apostle Paul's example, Smith calls upon preachers to be willing to die to self for the sake of Gospel proclamation. The author refers to this as manifesting "the cross in the pulpit." The book starts slowly in the first of its three parts, but quickly builds momentum in parts two and three. Through the use of helpful illustrations and appropriate stories, Smith is able to challenge the preacher to ask how his preaching can become more effective without yielding to self-promotion or contemporary, crowd-pleasing trends. As a pastor who desires to encourage the preaching "hopefuls" within our church family, I would like to place this book in their hands. It goes where classics such as Broadus, Stewart, Robinson, and others do not adequately go. In short, it is extremely practical while remaining biblically faithful. Its 175 pages make it a quick read, but one that will likely be reread.