5.2 of 5.0 (No typo)
The bottom line: Legendary advice on preaching from a legendary preacher.
What is preaching? Why does it matter? How do you prepare a sermon? How do you take your preaching to the next level? How does the messenger prepare himself to better deliver the message? Are you called to preach? How can you be sure? What role does the congregation play? It is ok to be funny? To tell stories? To make an altar call? Where does a man find the unique preaching ‘fire’? Preaching and Preachers answers all these questions (and much, much more) with careful consideration. The book also calls your attention to what is at stake, and what is at stake is far more than delivering a message on a Sunday morning—it is the life of the church and the salvation of souls. As the author himself says on the opening page of the book, true preaching is the highest and greatest calling and it is the most urgent need in the church today. In a world where God and the Bible are relentlessly trivialized, Preaching and Preachers is both desperately needed and intimately practical.
The late Dr. Lloyd-Jones is a legend for a reason. But you don’t have to take my word for it. All one has to do is listen to the Doctor preach and you will have your proof. Lloyd-Jones preached with precision, clarity, authority, and power. He had a unique gift that convicted the listener of God’s Truth and imparted a sense of the Lord. Yes, many of his prescriptions in this book are grounded in personal opinion, but if the effects of taking that advice are effectual and glorify God, then is there anything to fuss about? Truly, a preacher who is not convicted of his own method raises many doubts.
In general, the book proceeds from the most objective to the most subjective. The author begins by establishing how preaching is integral to the life of the church (“Primacy of Preaching”), what it truly is and why is has declined. He then explains how preaching is the only thing that exposes humankind’s real need and how the only remedy for that deficiency it is God (“No Substitute”). The book then goes through the mechanics of preaching (“The Sermon and the Preaching,” “The Form of the Sermon,” “The Act of Preaching” and “The Shape of the Sermon”). What is made readily obvious in these chapters is how the sermon itself (content) is distinct from the delivery of that sermon (the fire and thunder). The author then expounds on the preacher himself (“The Preacher”) and how self-preparation before the preaching is as important as the act itself (“The Preparation of the Preacher.”) The book closes with Llyod-Jones providing personal advice and relaying life lessons that he had learned through his career as a prolific preacher (“What to Avoid,” “The Pitfalls and the Romance” and “Demonstration of the Spirit and the Power”).
Indeed, as the book’s title suggests, this is not a book for everyone—it is a text written for preachers by a preacher. As a preacher, my personal opinion is that you ought not to begin preaching without first reading this book. In fact, you ought not to even start thinking about preaching until you read this classic. Certainly, you will emerge from the text different than when you stepped into it—you will be radically invigorated, inspired and convicted that what world so desperately needs is genuine preaching by genuine men of God.
Highest possible recommendation for any man called by God to preach the Word of God.
Rev. Dr. C. H. E. Sadaphal