Published the same year as the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, a new book from SBTS Press focuses on one of its most enduring legacies: the faithful proclamation of the Word of God. Essential Reading on Preaching, released today, encourages and equips pastors toward more fruitful preaching ministries.
Drawn from Southern Equip, a service from Southern Seminary that extends faculty training beyond the classroom, the book is a collection of articles about preaching written by SBTS faculty and instructors. In its first chapter, President R. Albert Mohler Jr. describes the urgent problem facing modern Christianity: that secular pluralism has driven the church to the margins of cultural discourse. Its only way to survive, according to Mohler, is the unapologetic exposition of Scripture.
“By preaching the church expands and by preaching the church remains faithful in a hostile culture,” Mohler writes. “In a secular age, we can no longer rely on the luxury of having other cultural voices do the work of instilling our people with a Christian worldview. The plausibility structures of the culture now work at crosscurrents to the message we preach on Sunday mornings.”
Essential Reading on Preaching not only features big-picture explanations of the need for exposition (“Expository ministry: A comprehensive vision” by Dan Dumas), but also practical guidance for pastors preaching every Sunday (“5 ways to fight a ‘preaching hangover’” by Brian Croft) and studies of great preachers from the history of the church (chapters about John Owen and John Broadus from Michael A.G. Haykin and Tom J. Nettles, respectively). The book also includes resources for further reading on preaching.
Hershael W. York, Victor and Louise Lester Professor of Christian Preaching, contributed two chapters to the collection, including his popular article “Why some preachers get better and others don’t.” York, who also pastors Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort, Kentucky, challenges aspiring preachers to be sure of their calling, which gives them a burning conviction that can characterize their pulpit ministry, along with a teachable and sacrificial spirit that allows them to improve their craft.
“If someone has a burning calling, a teachable spirit, a passionate heart, and a reckless abandon to pay the price to preach well, then not even the limitation of their own background, personality, or natural talents will keep them from preaching the Word of God with power,” York writes.
Essential Reading on Preaching is available in print and digital editions at sbts.edu/press, and at the Southern Seminary booth during the Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix, Arizona. Download the ebook here.