With biblical balance and pastoral wisdom, Dr. Murray Capills The Heart is the Target addresses the preachers vital task of serving the heart-transforming purposes for which God has given his Word. Experienced preachers are well aware of the pitfalls that pervade the terrain of application in preaching: moralism that imposes duty and guilt without grounding Christian living in the grace of the gospel; in reaction to such moralism, avoiding any application that calls listeners to repent and resist sin; fixation on behavioral change instead of piercing into the hearts motives and affections; and speaking in vague generalities that float above our listeners concrete spiritual struggle, rather than following Scriptures lead in bringing specific realistic, and diverse exhortations. The Heart is the Target not only provides biblical and theological correctives to such errors and imbalances, but also offers practical guidance in the preparation processes that yield sermons that serve the transformative purposes for which God has given the Bible.
This is an important book on a vital area of preaching for today. Preaching that does not land in peoples lives is a great frustration. God wants to sanctify us by the truth, so Biblical preaching should result in transformation. Not all people who are especially gifted by God are able to teach others what they do when they use their gifts. Murray Capill is an exception to this general rule! He is a gifted preacher, with a special gift in effective application. In this book he explains what he does and how he does it, in a way which makes it helpful and profitable for all who preach. I have benefited deeply from Murrays sermons, and from his teaching on application. I am sure that other preachers will benefit as well when they read this book. It is always worth investing in improving the quality of our preaching. This book will help beginners and experienced preachers alike.
Preaching the word of God is more than an explanation of a portion of Scripture. It necessarily includes application for by it God still speaks to his people. Capill shows so clearly and cogently how exegesis of all the data of the text in its canonical context coupled with eisegesis of the human heart in the light of Christian truth dissolves the pressure to be 'relevant' that so often bedevils preachers' minds and cripples an auhtoritative 'Thus says the Lord'.
It is well written, well researched, and comes across with real conviction. It is extremely well informed on its chosen theme, and the argument is persuasively supported at all points. You have obviously thought deeply and long about sermon application, and clearly have a passion for it, and that is highly appealing to the reader. You also show a sensitive awareness of the situation of the 'average preacher', and throw out helpful 'ropes' to him where he is likely to feel overwhelmed by the sheer demand of effective application. I ended by wishing I had had your text in my hands when I began preaching over fifty years ago. I cannot think that P. and R., or any other possible publisher, will hesitate about moving it on to publication.