Subtitle: Letters on Detonating the Gospel in the 21st Century.
Published in 2006 by Paternoster.
I was urged to get this book in a brief lunch-time encounter last month. Based on the enjoyable nature of our conversation, I trusted the advice of this new friend and bought the book. I’m glad I did. This book is comprehensive in scope and highly helpful in content. The author works for Open Doors International and serves, among other things, as a tutor to preachers and speech-makers.
It contains 31 “letters,” I suppose in the style of Screwtape Letters, although essentially the letter style is not really sustained within each letter to any meaningful extent – it simply allows the author to pour forth his thoughts. Since I am only half-way through the book at this point, I can only give a pre-review. I’ll review the whole book once I get to the end. This is the book I have been referring to over the past few weeks.
So far I have read this book with an almost constant smile on my lips, even though I acknowledge that much of the content is very serious, sobering and challenging. The book is still an entertaining read. I suppose it is also tempting to be as condescending toward the book as the author is toward other homiletics writers (perhaps myself included – would I fit in his category of puerile homiletics writers that keep on stating the obvious or making the whole task seem unnecessarily complex?) But rather than feel condescending toward a book with an edge, despite our denominational, ecclesiastical and even slight theological differences, I would rather engage with the book and learn from it.
The first two sections of the book deal with the problems in preaching and the elements of preaching. So far I’ve found much that has been challenging and helpful. I am looking forward to the subsequent sections on the history of preaching and the life of the preacher. I suspect this book might creep into my top books page, but I’ll read the whole of it before I make such a major decision!