Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching, 2nd Edition
I have been preaching for several years, but not many, I bought this book hoping that there would be something that would enlighten me to something that i've been missing or didn't know about. And to be honest, it has done more than this! This little book is crammed full of useful information, and I can say that as an Evangelist who is in the pulpit each week that it has been a great resource for me! And I think it would be so for others as well. The core point of the book is drive the Bible into your Congregation, dont give them good advice from the pulpit, give the the Inspired, and Holy Scriptures which are able to transform the human soul! That's the problem with churches today, too much lolly gagging, jokes, and entertainment, and not enough Bible. If the pulpit isn't preaching 100% Bible, it's useless, pointless, and a waste of time! I know i haven't outlined the book, but i will say, once you get it, you wont regret it!
January 15, 2013
Must Read for All Preachers
Feed My Sheep is an indispensable resource for preachers. ItÃ¢ÂÂs not a homiletic how-to rather it focuses on what preaching should be and what it should accomplish. And itÃ¢ÂÂs written by some of the best preachers and communicators of our generation. You have essays by Ligon Duncan, Al Mohler, James Montgomery Boice, Derek Thomas, Joel Beeke, R. C. Sproul, R. C. Sproul Jr., Sincalir Ferguson, Don Kistler, Eric Alexander, John Piper, and John MacArthur. If you could create a list of more qualified expositors I would be surprised.
They argue from the basic reformation principle that expository preaching (preaching thatÃ¢ÂÂs necessarily tied to the text) is a mark of the true church. Mohler argues for its primacy in the church. Boice discusses the foolishness of preaching. This chapter is littered with marginalia and highlights. Here is one of my favorite sections,
One of my predecessors at Tenth Presbyterian Church, Donald Grey Barnhouse, used to say that when he preached to an audience, he used to think of them as barrels sitting on the pews. Most of them were empty. But some of them had gunpowder inside, and his job was to produce explosions. He did it by striking the matches of the Word and throwing them into the barrels. When he hit one that had gunpowder, there would be an explosion. God put the gunpowder there. Then, as the Word was preached, there was a spiritual ignition or rebirth. This is one of the reasons we should value preaching so highly. (23)
Thomas explains the Scriptural basis for expository preaching and recommends the lectio continua (Ã¢ÂÂcontinuous expositionsÃ¢ÂÂ p. 36). Beeke stresses the need for preaching out of our experience which emphasizes Ã¢ÂÂthe intimate, personal knowledge of God in ChristÃ¢ÂÂ (54; one of my favorite chapters). He says exposition is not enough; we must apply the word (56). R. C. Sproul argues for preachers who teach. Preachers should be silent when the Word is silent but they should not shy away from assertions when Scripture speaks.
Sproul Jr. discuses preaching to the mind. He shows that this is the primary way the apostles engaged their hearers. Ferguson contrasts that with preaching to the heart which does four things: Ã¢ÂÂinstruction in truth, conviction of the conscience, restoration and transformation of life, and equipping for serviceÃ¢ÂÂ (105). Alexander urges for evangelical preaching. He reminds us that only Christ saves but itÃ¢ÂÂs the Christ found in the Bible (125). John Piper in his typically fashion attacks the preacherÃ¢ÂÂs duty through the lens of suffering and joy. He argues the preacher must preach so that his hearers treasure Christ alone and are prepared to suffer. He also must demonstrate this kind of joy through suffering in his own ministry. John MacArthur ends by reminding pastors that their abilities and skills are not necessary for the success of the gospel. They are clay plots. ItÃ¢ÂÂs faithfulness in preaching the word that produces God-honoring results.
This review has been more summary than my typical review but I wanted to give the preachers out there a quick taste for what they will find in Feed in My Sheep to encourage you to buy it if you havenÃ¢ÂÂt read it. For young preachers being ordained and installed, this book should be on top of your reading list. ItÃ¢ÂÂs practical and Biblical and it might just save you the headache from worrying about which program to invest in and what will be most successful in drawing people to Christ. The short answer is preaching but you need to read the book to get the full impact.
A free copy of this book was provided by Reformation Trust.
July 16, 2012
Great Book for Preachers
This book has 11 chapters by various authors calling us back to the prime importance of preaching.
Albert Mohler first discusses the primacy of preaching citing history and Scripture (e.g. Col 1: 25-29) to build his case. He shows us that preaching is not one of a pastor's important duties, but , in fact, it is the key one. We do live in an age where pastors are expected to do everything and some pastors prefer almost any administrative duty to the hard work of sermon preparation. Perhaps over time we become rather slick, but too superficial to do our people any good. I loved his analysis about "product envy" for preachers. Other professions can look at how many items sold or made but results in the task of preaching are not so easy to calculate. The lack of quantifiable results may derail us from expounding the Word of God which carries the help those we minister to really needs.
James Boice tackles the "foolishness of preaching". He argues that preaching is God's wise way to show that the world's wisdom is foolishness. He also speaks of how many Bible characters preached, and how preaching leads to conversions and church growth. Ultimately, this works because the Lord works through His Word.
Derek Thomas writes on "Expository Preaching." Really this is the type of preaching referred to in the whole book. Using the history of several great preachers, defining the terms of preaching carefully, he writes as an academician. His description of failed preaching types is really good.
Joel Beeke writes on experimental preaching, or getting beyond explanation to application as all good preaching should. R.C. Sproul discusses teaching in preaching. Since we live in a generation that prefers light preaching this is a challenge to help our people learn the Word of God. R.C. Sproul Jr. has a brilliant chapter on "Preaching To The Mind"'.
Sinclear Ferguson writes with good effect on "Preaching To The Heart." His chapter is practical. Don Kistler gives us "Preaching With Authority". He discusses how Jesus spoke with authority, an authority so obvious all noticed. He relates how Paul wrote about in, for example, Titus 2:15. He reminds us of what an awesome call we have in our call to preach. Eric Alexander writes on "Evangelistic Preaching". Some might find it lacking.
John Piper speaks on "Preaching To Suffering People." Perhaps this is an example of how productive a use this call to dedicated preaching can provide. John MacArthur writes the closing chapter as a plea to take the contents of this book and go and do what a shepherd should do.
The book is an encouragement. It runs against the tide of modern-day preaching and is what we need. You may have noticed that every writer tightly holds to reformed theology, and though I definitely do not, we must graciously admit that reformed writers are simply giving us the best writings on preaching today. This book is a clear example of that fact. I want to be the preacher the Lord wants me to be. Don't you?
January 2, 2012
a book for all Christians
With a foreword by Ligon Duncan and chapters by Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr., Dr. James Montgomery Boice, Dr. Derek W. H. Thomas, Dr. Joel R. Beeke, Dr. R. C. Sproul, Dr. R. C. Sproul Jr., Dr. Sinclair B. Ferguson, Dr. Don Kistler, Eric J. Alexander, Dr. John Piper and John Macarthur, this book is a labor of love for Christ and for His church.
Why another book on preaching? Al Mohler answers that question in the foreword: Ã¢ÂÂI suggest the following: preaching in the contemporary English-speaking worldÃ¢ÂÂand even in the evangelical and Reformed communityÃ¢ÂÂhas not been impervious to the negative forces brought to bear on proclamation as a method of evangelism and discipleship. A video-drowned and educationally-challenged culture, and a church bent on accommodating herself to the dominant communication theories of the day, challenge the minister committed to the Ã¢ÂÂfoolishness of preaching.Ã¢ÂÂ
Further, the purpose of this book itself, for both preachers and Christians, is set forth in the preface as: Ã¢ÂÂIt is our dual hope that this new edition of Feed My Sheep will help enflame a new generation of preachers to preach the Word and will educate a new generation of believers in the pew to understand what they ought to expect from the pulpit each LordÃ¢ÂÂs Day.Ã¢ÂÂ
Topics include: The Primacy of Preaching, The Foolishness of Preaching, Expository Preaching, Preaching to the Mind, Preaching to the Heart, Preaching With Authority and Evangelistic Preaching (among others).
IÃ¢ÂÂm not a preacher. IÃ¢ÂÂm not even a man. What I am is a woman who is passionate to see God exalted and His Truth preached; this book prepares preachers to preach the Truth and enables Christians to know it when they hear it. Reading it, I felt like a little kid in a great big candy shop in happy shock after being told that I can have whatever I want. Chapter after chapter, I proceeded to partake of the wondrous bounty.
This is a book to drink in, to taste, to savor. It is a work worthy of prayerful consideration, one that shows us how far from the Biblical mark most American churches have fallen; it is also one that gently takes us by the hand and leads us back to where Truth is both found and cherished. Preachers will be taught to teach, the hungry Christian will be prepared to learn.
My oldest son is preparing to preach, this book will one day be his. I pray when he takes it in hand, he will learn from the godly wisdom contained within its pages. For now, itÃ¢ÂÂs mine and I am blessed to sit at the feet of the men who know what preaching ought to be and who labored so that I may know, too. As one having grown up in the Arminian tradition and now rejoicing in the doctrines of Grace, I find this book is like a cold drink of water on a hot, hot SummerÃ¢ÂÂs Day.
This isnÃ¢ÂÂt a book just for preachers, it is a book for all who love God. Read it and be blessed.
I received a PDF copy of this book from Reformation Trust for purposes of review. After my review is posted, I will receive a copy of the book itself. I was not required to give a positive review only an honest and fair one. My opinions are my own.
September 15, 2011