5 Stars Out Of 5
Straight talk for preparing better sermons
May 30, 2013
Having been exposed to numerous homiletical texts, most of which are extensively wordy and minimally helpful, I found Mark Dever and Greg Gilbert's "Preach: Theology Meets Practice" to be refreshingly precise and practical. The sometimes humorous interplay between these two friends, especially when critiquing the other's sermon, was as revealing as it was entertaining. Having attended a "Weekender" event for pastors and other church leaders at Dever's Capitol Hill Baptist Church, I was delighted to find that what he has written is an accurate depiction of what goes on there each Sunday. Both the seasoned Dever and the younger Gilbert have hearts for those who preach God's Word, and desire to see them do it well. The essence of the book is found in the first two sections, labeled "Theology" and "Practice." This second section takes both the budding and the experienced preacher through sermon preparation not just through delivery, but by showing the necessity of reviewing the message after it has been preached. This approach will strike some as frightening and perhaps even unnecessary, but having seen it in action I can attest to its benefit. Laying oneself and one's current method of sermon preparation and presentation vulnerably before others requires great humility, but the dividends are worth the cost. The third and final section of the book leaves us with sample sermons by both Dever and Gilbert. These are presented verbatim with interspersed dialogue between the two as one analyzes the other. I was greatly challenged by this title and trust, that by applying many of the suggestions found therein, I will emerge a more effective minister of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.