An analysis of shifts in dominant media forms and their effects on the sensibilities of the culture as a whole. Many of those shifts have profound, and unfortunate, effects on preaching.
Why is preaching ineffective? Gordon shows how the way preachers study means that they are not speaking the language the congregation understands and needs to hear. Includes solutions.
T. David Gordon has been professor of religion and Greek at Grove City College since 1999. Previously, he was an associate professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary for fourteen years and pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church (Nashua, NH) for nine years.
An insightful diagnosis of a serious problem in the life of the church. For this we should be grateful as we should for the way out of the crisis to which this book ably points.
No, it's not just you. There's a lot of really disappointing preaching today and it's not entirely due to explicit departures from sound principles; it's also affected by the media culture in which we have been formed. While there are helpful studies of popular culture and important books on proper biblical interpretation and theology, this book does both. I couldn't help but wince as I recognized myself in Gordon's descriptions, but he writes so clearly and convincingly that I couldn't help but be grateful. Why Johnny Can't Preach should be read by anyone who cares about preaching.
"Every preacher who believes that the Bible is the infallible Word of God should read this book. Its lucidity and conciseness makes that possible in he midst of a busy pastorate. Dr. Gordon is saying things that no one else has said, perhaps because no one dares to. Dr. Gordon brings two very important perspectives to bear on the serious business of preaching: finely tuned literary sensibilitiesespecially attention to literary structureand media ecology. Electronic media alter perception and rearrange social space. They have dramatically transformed the sensibilities of preachers along with the rest of the culture. Serious attention to textsespecially the text of Scripturethe ability to distinguish the significant from the insignificant, and focus on the ability of Jesus Christ to save sinners, these are being radically eclipsed in our day. But Gordons analysis offers us hope that Johnny can learn to preach well. Preaching rooted in a close reading of the biblical text and centered on the Christ of Scripture is the crying need of our day. I highly recommend it.