That’s how I’d sum up Preaching: A Biblical Theology by Jason Meyer.
It’s a book that has some simply outstanding chapters, so much so, that if they were all put together, they would make a great little book on the subject. But it is also a book that has a long section in the middle that didn’t quite hit the target, which was frustrating.
The opening two chapters on the What and How of Preaching, that set preaching within the larger context of the ministry of the Word, were really helpful. Meyer’s thesis is that “the ministry of the word in Scripture is stewarding and heralding God’s word in such a way that people encounter God through his word” and that this “stewarding and heralding must be carried out faithfully and fearlessly”.
Following this we have a long section, from chapters 3 through to the end of chapter 16, which begins with a condensed biblical theology of the ministry of the word, which is then expanded on over 11 chapters. This was probably the weakest part of the book. (To be fair to Meyer, he does give busy pastors the permission to skip the part of the book). It would have been great if there could have been in this section more specific and detailed application about what each of 10 scenes he divides the Bible story into uniquely has teach about the ministry of the word.
After this, the remainder of the book is great. The chapters on the What, How and Why of Expository Preaching provided a great definition “preaching must re-present the word of God in such a way that the preacher represents the God of the word so that people respond to God”, a memorable method “share, show, shepherd”, and a clear defence for it. Equally strong are the brief chapters that discuss the relationship between preaching and scripture and preaching and sin and why expository preaching best fits with what these doctrines teach, and a chapter on how topical preaching can be done well.
One final highlight of the book that was a real bonus was an appendix where Meyer surveys and comments on other books on preaching that he has been helped by and which any reader who follows up these leads would be too.
So Preaching: A Biblical Theology is a book that is mixed.
Yet on the basis of the opening and closing chapters, it is a book I’d definitely encourage preachers experienced, occasional, or just starting out, to read. Certainly I’ll be returning to re-read these chapters every so often.
Thank you Crossway for providing a free copy of this book through Beyond the Page.