Engaging Exposition

It is always with a moderate amount of trepidation that a preacher reviews a book on preaching written by three men who teach preaching or who have preached for a multitude of years. If that is not enough, the book has also been awarded book of the year by Preaching Magazine. Regardless, here it is.engaging-exposition

Engaging Exposition: A 3-D Approach to Preaching, written by Daniel Akin, preaching teacher, and Bill Curtis and Stephen Rummage, longtime preachers, and published by B&H Publishing Group, is a be-all, tell-all volume on how to do expository preaching. The expertise here is not to be denied.

Engaging Exposition: A 3-D Approach to Preaching contains thirty chapters divided into three sections of ten chapters. (The “3-D” equates to Discovery, Development and Delivery.) Each section was written by one of the authors. The book has a logical progression for developing an expository message. It takes us from no message to the completed message.

Section One is all about hermeneutics, the proper process for interpreting the section of Scripture at hand. It also includes a chapter on “The Origins of Hermeneutics.” Section Two is all about how to put the sermon together. A most worthwhile chapter is the final one focusing on questions and answers when developing the message. The final section deals with delivery – the good, the bad and the ugly. It sums up with an exhortation for the preacher to live a godly life lest his message land on deaf ears.

My major criticism is that I found this volume to be long on “lists” and relatively short on examples. Yes, there are some useful charts and diagrams, but on the whole I feel there could be more in the way of “how to” rather than “do.”

Engaging Exposition is a book to be carefully studied not browsed through at a hurried pace. The intent of the authors is to encourage biblical, Christ-centered preaching which is experiencing a bad case of malnutrition. There is therefore no doubt that this volume will become a primary textbook for aspiring Southern Baptist preachers. It covers virtually every aspect of the expository sermon. I would also recommend this volume to preachers who desire to refresh their Message Delivery Methodology. After all, how can you go wrong with a “Book of the Year”?

Disclaimer: This volume was provided to me by B&H Publishing Group for a fair and honest review.


Remember & Return

Devotionals are a big deal in the Christian world. And at the risk of sounding caustic or skeptical, I believe that’s a viable statement. It is important for the Believer to have contact with the Word of God daily, even if it is just through a devotional. Of course, there are hundreds of devotional books on the market and a multitude more available on the internet.remember-return

But somehow there’s nothing like having a printed copy of the Bible and a printed devotional right in front of you when you spend this time. So John MacArthur has produced a new devotional for that purpose. Remember & Return: Rekindling Your Love for the Savior – A Devotional is a compact, hardback, lightweight (literally) 31-day devotional that focuses our attention on Christ and Christ alone. Every one of the thirty-one entries centers on a verse of Scripture with an exposition from MacArthur. Each one ends with a “Daily Challenge.” Each entry is a bit longer than the average devotional (usually a page) encompassing between 5-7 pages. That’s why I believe this is more than a devotional. It’s a mini study. Naturally the quality of each daily is top notch with MacArthur’s insight.

This is a volume that you will want to have ready for you each day. It would also make an excellent Christmas gift for any Believer in your life. Actually, it would make the perfect gift to introduce Jesus to a non-believer.

My advice: Get a bunch and hand them out.

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me by BakerBooks for a fair and honest review.

Greek for Everyone

One of the pressing questions for all those who “religiously” study the Bible is what about the original languages? A plethora of questions arise from this starting point: Do I really need to know the original languages? If so, how much? How do I go about learning these languages?greek-for-everyone

Naturally, there is no shortage of Greek language experts and with that, of course, a plethora of books on how to learn Greek. I have in my library at least half a dozen books featuring the subject of learning Greek – Greek for the Rest of Us, Learn NT Greek, You Can Learn NT Greek are just three of the titles. All of these present us with basically the same format – learn vocabulary, the declensions and their endings, the conjugation of all the verbs and so on.

Now I have a new one – Greek for Everyone: Introductory Greek for Bible Study and Application by A. Chadwick Thornhill. Thornhill holds a PhD and is a professor at Liberty University. The book is published by BakerBooks.

So it was with a here-we-go-again attitude that I began to dig into Thornhill’s volume. But what a surprise! Thornhill does not demand a routine of endless memorization. Yes, he encourages us to get a grasp on some basic vocabulary, however, his emphasis is not on producing Greek scholars but rather on making us functional in the Greek language so we can dig a little deeper into the Scriptures. He does this through a survey of “the most important parts of speech and grammatical features of the Greek of the New Testament.” (He spends nine chapters on this information.) His theory is that if we are familiar with these basic elements of Greek, we can then use various “Resources for Navigating the Greek New Testament,” which are explained in Chapter 4.

If you have a desire to be able to investigate the New Testament in the original Greek, but have minimal time to spend studying the myriad of complexities of the language, Greek for Everyone is a book you will find indispensable. If you have an aspiration to learn the language, I would recommend you begin with this volume. Then you can study the more detailed Greek textbooks.

Disclaimer: This book was provided to me by BakerBooks for a fair, honest and impartial review.