Careful biblical interpretation; insights into contemporary life; polished delivery; humorous anecdotes; these are the building blocks of preaching that genuinely reach people. Right? Wrong, says Ellsworth Kalas. We have all encountered preachers who seem to know all the fine points of exegesis and inflection, yet whose sermons leave us surprisingly unmoved, aware that we were in the presence of good speaking, but not great preaching.
The difference, Kalas reminds us, lies in that hard-to-describe, yet essential quality known as soul. Soul is the collection of those perspectives and convictions that matter most to the preacher. Soul preaching means offering one's particular ideas, attitudes, and convictions fully to the congregation. When one preaches with soul, one engages the biblical text with the core of one's values and beliefs. Soul preaching is, in other words, simply giving the whole self to the task of proclamation. While the concept may sound simple, the reality is anything but. In the clear, insightful style for which he is known, Kalas takes readers on a path of discovery, introducing them to the unique gifts that they can bring to preaching, and the best way to engage those gifts in preparing and delivering the sermon.