Preaching with Accuracy: Finding Christ-Centered Big Ideas for Biblical Preaching  -     By: Randal Pelton
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Preaching with Accuracy: Finding Christ-Centered Big Ideas for Biblical Preaching

Kregel Ministry / 2014 / Paperback

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Product Description

A resource to help pastors correctly identify the big idea of a passage and apply it well

Preaching with Accuracy provides preachers with a method for finding the "big idea" in each passage of the Bible, since correctly identifying the main point is key to accurately conveying the essential theology of the passage.

Pelton lays out a reliable, well-informed method for identifying the main point of a preaching passage and understanding that passage well in its context. Numerous examples are given at each step of the way to show how meaning develops throughout the process of interpretation. Pelton then guides the preacher through applying a Christ-centered hermeneutic that will result in biblical sermons that benefit and equip believers.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 176
Vendor: Kregel Ministry
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0825443288
ISBN-13: 9780825443282

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Author Bio

Randal E. Pelton is senior pastor of Calvary Bible Church in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. Pelton also teaches at Lancaster Bible College and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He conducts preaching workshops for various denominations and he blogs at

Product Reviews

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  1. London, ON
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    A book that helps with its title: preaching with accuracy!
    April 7, 2015
    London, ON
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 4
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    There are many things in life that are difficult to know and understand without attempting them for oneself. Preaching is like that. It seems to me that, until one has grappled with a text and wrestled with the sermon writing process, and stood behind a pulpit and preached to a congregation, the whole process can seem a little mysterious or even down right scary. As a new preacher, I am finding the process of learning and growing as a Scripture expounder, sermon writer, and a pulpit preacher, to be a fair amount of work. And for that reason, I am usually quick to avail myself of any resources that can help me become a better preacher. Preaching with Accuracy: Finding Christ-Centered Big Ideas for Biblical Preaching is just that type of resource. This book by Randal E. Pelton is a powerfully helpful work that I found to be beneficial in some very practical ways along the lines of exactly what the title suggests; determining Scriptures meaning in light of the Gospel with preaching in view.

    Before looking at the practical help this books provides, here is an overview of the entire book. This overview is derived from a thorough introduction which outlines each chapter of the book. I find these overviews useful and supportive for non-fiction reading. Chapter 1 is a mini-apologetic for expositional preaching that seeks to show from 1 Corinthians 14 that an insider-directed message reaches both insiders and outsiders (10). Chapter 2 discusses the presence of multiple meanings in passages and how preaching different meanings has different results. Chapters 3-7, the chapters I found extremely helpful in a very practical way, focus on finding Christ-centered big ideas for the purpose of preaching. More specifically, Chapter 3 indicates ways that preaching portions should be determined. Chapter 4 explores how various-sized ideas are recognized and how the textual big idea is determined. Chapter 5 progresses from textual big ideas to contextual big ideas; the big idea formed by the immediate context. Chapter 6 moves one step farther with the search for the canonical big idea which takes the core of Scripturethe gospeland applies it to the passage in question. Chapter 7 elucidates two benefits of the process of finding the various big ideas of the passage.

    The practical nature of this book is suggested in the introductions final section entitled Suggestions for Pastors Using This Book. The three main ways in which this book is and will continue to be useful to me as a pastor who preaches are 1) its pursuing of the various big ideas through the many genres in Scripture, 2) its step-by-step approach to many of the techniques, and 3) the try-it-for-yourself examples (with the authors answers) which occur throughout the book.

    The first way in which the book provides helpful instruction is by not limiting its lessons to only certain genres of Scripture, but by demonstrating how techniques can be applied to many different types of passages. For example, when choosing a preaching portion, the author discusses how one cuts the text in didactic passages, narratives, parables, poetry, proverbs, prophecies, and visions. Similarly, Pelton describes the process for finding the textual big idea in narratives, didactic literature, wisdom literature, parables, and prophetic-type sections. I found this thoroughness brought clarity to the processes described and confidence in attempting some of the books suggestions. Adding to the practical usefulness of this book is the step-by-step approach offered for many of its techniques.

    For a new preacher like myself, or for an experienced preacher who is new to theses concepts, breaking the techniques down into simpler steps makes the work accessible and far less intimidating. As an example, from the fourth chapter, the steps for identifying the textual big ideas are as follows: 1) Locate and write the broad subject, 2) write the narrow subject, 3) write the complements (answers to questions arising out of the narrow subject), and 4) write the textual big idea which is the narrow subject + complement. This gradual approach makes comprehending the authors strategy accessible to all levels. And again, the author does not just formulaically run through the steps, but discusses the steps in each genre mentioned above. Additionally, the author is helpful in a third very practical way through the use of do-it-yourself examples with answers.

    Pelton employs examples for many of his suggested techniques. Following an example of how he might use a technique, he then offers a different portion of Scripture and encourages the reader to try the technique themselves. He even provides space in the book to respond. I cannot emphasize how helpful this process was. I found it brought clarity to what the author was teaching, but also helped cement the ideas. I will certainly have to review the book regularly as I preach through various books of the Bible, but the hands-on examples did help key ideas stick. These do-it-yourself opportunities make it abundantly clear that Pelton wants this book to be of real, practical value for the preacher. In my opinion, he succeeds in that regard.

    As a new preacher, barely into my second year of preaching, I found this book to be a very helpful resource that I am confident I will continue to use in the future. Pelton provides many useful tips and techniques that I have already used and expect to continue to use. The awareness of the need for teaching to various genres will help support other pastors as they work towards being a better preacher. The simple step-by-step approach to most of the methods presented in Preaching with Accuracy makes it accessible. And the do-it-yourself examples make the skills memorable and reproducible. I recommend this book to new preachers like myself, or experienced preachers who want to hone their skills in regards to preaching with accuracy.
  2. West Union, OH
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Very Helpful!
    March 27, 2015
    Jimmy Reagan
    West Union, OH
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Do you ever struggle with how to get to the bottom of a text while being true to its context? It is an area where we can use a little help as so much preaching today totally misses the mark. Here is a book by Randell Pelton, and published by Kregel, of manageable length to help us in that endeavor. If you read the detailed footnotes, you will double the length and depth.

    Mr. Pelton traces out the particulars of his own method, but you would not have to rigidly follow his steps to glean from this book.His Introduction clearly lays out his philosophy of true preaching and how he will discuss it. Chapter 1 is a passionate plea to show that expository preaching still works. He shows how a seeker-sensitive approach has changed preaching for the worsewe have morphed into little self-help talks that obscure the vibrant power of Scripture. He also gives guidance on picking Scripture portions to preach and explains how to cut the text.

    The bulk of the book defines his method. If you have preached long enough to have settled into your own pattern, for the better or worse, as I have, you can still get great insight here. The point of any such method is to be true to Scripture and say in context. He has his own terminology, but it is mostly watching the context both near and far. I loved his guidance on preaching the OT (sensus plenior).

    His last point is focusing on a Christ-centered hermeneutic as the final point of context. He feels Tim Keller is the role model here. His goal is to avoid moralistic preaching and stay Gospel-focused. This can be overdone, in my view, as some portions of Scripture have a true ethical or moralistic component, but that Christ is our only hope to live it is also valid.

    A good reminder for seasoned preachers, and a great help to less experienced ones, this volume deserves high ratings.

    I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
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