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Expositional Preaching: How We Speak God’s Word Today by David R. Helm
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Very good book. One of the best books on expository preaching written in recent times. Helm is concise, to the point, and understandable. His section on impressionistic preaching is the most adept assessment of modern preaching I have ever heard.
He doesn’t just exhort and encourage preachers to do exposition, he also instructs how to do it. It’s a lot easier, and more popular, to be immediately practical. So we go to 1 Samuel 17 and alliterate three points to tell people how to face their giants. Their giants might be an overbearing boss at work, an unfriendly neighbor, a sickness, grief, or a myriad other personal problems and difficulties. Almost as an afterthought, we tack the Gospel on at the end, because, after all, it has to go somewhere. We do so with all the skill and agility of an eight-year-old overdosed on cake and ice cream, blindfolded, spun around in a circle, and groping for the south end of the donkey on which to affix the tail.
Do we really think God orchestrated David’s victory over Goliath so we can out of our comfort zones and ask our boss for that raise? Do we really think that? In our modern pursuit for relevance, we seem to never stop and ask some of the most fundamental questions. What is this passage of Scripture actually about? What does it mean historically? How does it fit within the meta-narrative of redemption? How does it fit within the theological constraints of the faith? How is it connected to Christ? How does the cross affect our understanding of it? Why is this in the Bible? What does the Spirit mean by it?
Preachers are men God calls, equips, and charges to preach His word. God’s word is powerful and effective. God’s word never returns void but accomplishes what He sent it to do. Expository preaching is the best way to ensure you are preaching God’s word and not your own ideas loosely based on God’s word. I highly recommend this book. It’s certainly not all we need, but it will go a long way to set on the right path in this important duty.