Preaching: it sounds like such a easy thing to do. All you have to do is step into the pulpit and talk for 20 minutes, right? Anyone who’s ever stepped into that pulpit knows that preaching is anything but easy. Speaking a word from God that is grounded in the biblical witness, theologically responsible, and true to contemporary experience is one of the most difficult things one can do. Advice on how to do this is as old as preaching itself, and there are as many opinions on preaching as there are preachers. Where do those who have been called to the ministry of proclamation begin? What are the basic understandings and practices that anyone who proposes to preach should know?
In this new addition to the Essential Guides series, Ronald Allen seeks to answer these basic questions about preaching. He does so through the use of an inductive method, which is simply to say that he starts with a sermon itself, and uses that sermon to illustrate the process of moving from the first thoughts about what one will preach to the delivery of an actual sermon itself. Each chapter will raise a question about the sample sermon that leads into a broader discussion of the practical and theoretical issues that this particular aspect of the sermon raises (e.g., What is the good news in this sermon? What is the significance of this news for the congregation? Does the preacher offer a clear and sensible interpretation of the biblical text or the topic?)
Written with the needs of students in both traditional M. Div. classes and non-degree ministry training programs in mind, Preaching: An Essential Guide will be an indispensable companion for all the others who seek to “rightly explain the word of truth.”
Ronald J. Allen is Professor of Homiletics at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana