- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 463 KB
- Print Length: 148 pages
- Publisher: Christian Focus Publications (1 Aug. 2013)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00EAV1K54
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #188,682 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Preaching? Kindle Edition
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I am not a pastor, but a missionary in Guatemala, so I preach every couple of months. I am not a seminary trained preacher/minister, so this book gives me great insight and wisdom when it comes to sermon study and building. Like I said above, I will read it many times to continue to put into practice the teachings and ideas he used and learned over the years.
I am so thankful for the opportunity to read this and be able to share it with others as well. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning a deeper study of the bible, as well as those who are preaching from the Word of God on a regular basis.
The first few chapters are a short introduction to preaching and a theological discussion of what preaching is. The last two-thirds of the book takes the reader on a tour of how to prepare to preach from examining the passage through developing illustrations. There were three takeaways for me from Preaching?.
Alec Motyer says that the first and most basic task of the preacher is “to understand each word, sentence and verse in a passage, each section of a narrative or book.” In doing so, he puts the preacher under the authority of God’s word and directs the preacher to begin with the Bible. He believes that the preacher is called not to come to the Bible with a sermon in search of a text. Instead, he comes to the text ready to hear what it has to say and to shape the sermon from that.
In the same chapter I benefited from his discussion of how he keeps up with his notes. “My original single loose-leaf notebook (when I was working on expositions of 2 Timothy in 1964) has grown into about 250 notebooks, a continuing resource for sermon preparation (and also a quick ‘refresher course’ alongside daily Bible reading). Record everything, lose nothing, whether from concordances and commentaries, from your own thinking, or from listening to other peoples’ sermons. Bend everything to the task of an accurate, thought-out understanding of the Word of God.” This is a reminder to those who preach that we need to keep what we have been studying either written down or saved somewhere. You do not want to lose the hours that you have spent researching a passage.
Finally, Alec Motyer’s chapter on presentation is worth the price of the book. Coming from years of experience with expositional preaching, he walks through the options for presenting memorable outlines and varying styles of doing so in order to make our preaching memorable. The advice that he offers at the end needs to be heard by all who preach. There must be a back room and a show room. The preacher must study so that there is a back room full from study, prayer, and meditation. The proper material is then brought out from the from the back room and placed in the show room in a manner that helps people understand and experience change.
Preaching? by Alec Motyer serves well as an introduction to preaching for those who are new and as a helpful refresher for those who are more experienced. His years of experience and wisdom shine throughout this volume. It will be of great benefit to those who will read it.
(I received a copy of this work through the Cross Focused Review program in exchange for an honest review.)
Preaching in its most profitable form is expositional. That is, "the restatement of a Scripture - whether a word, a verse, a chapter or a book - so that its message emerges with clarity." Motyer sees clarity as the key to expositional preaching: "clarity in addressing truth to the minds of the hearers; clarity in bringing out what the Bible says; clarity of presentation." The first five chapters of this book help to explain what good Bible teaching and teachers should look like. These chapters lay groundwork for what is to come. The function of the heart of this book (Chapters 6-11) is to help pastors go about explaining Scripture with clarity.
In this section (Chapters 6-11) Motyer covers six distinct exercises in preparing a sermon. He compares them to six parallel train tracks that all work together to lead us to our destination. They are: examination, analysis, orientation, harvesting, presentation, and application. In these sections, Motyer continuously uses Scripture to give the reader examples of what he is presenting. He walks the reader through example after example of what these exercises look like as they are fleshed out on an actual text. This is extremely helpful, because instead of just staying in the realm of academic thought he moves to application to help the reader understand the process that he is teaching.
In the chapter on examination Motyer gives reasoning why concordances, versions, commentaries and conservation are key to study. By conservation he simply means to write everything down. He puts a good emphasis on this by saying, "Record everything, lose nothing, whether from concordances and commentaries, from your own thinking, or from listening to other people's sermons. Bend everything to the task of an accurate, thought out understanding of the word of God." This is helpful, and with today's technology if one has a smart phone they always have a note taking device with them.
In the chapter on orientation, Motyer explains why it is important to find the central truth to the passage that will be taught. He again uses examples from multiple passages of Scripture to show how he does this. Finding the central truth of the passage also helps us to not, "force Scripture into our mold, but rather submit to Scripture molding us, our thoughts, discussions and decisions." This is vitally important. If Scripture is our guide to truth, then our opinions and personal thoughts will take a back seat to the truth of God's Word.
Motyer sums up why this entire process is so important. He says, "The prophet devours the Word, obeys the Word, frequents the place where the Word is heard. Behind the public man lies his private, secret life with God in His Word: our Monday to Saturday and very early Sunday morning personal habit. The public minister of the Word has to be fashioned in the secret workshop the Word. The minister must never cease to be an 'ordinary believer' humbly walking with God in the light of His Word.... Publicly we stand up front, made a prominent by pulpit or desk; privately, in heart, mind and attitude, we are sitting with all the rest, under the Word of God, open-eared, waiting, longing to hear what the Lord our God will say to us." This is the key to the entire process of sermon preparation. It is Word centered and because it is Word centered it is profitable.
Motyer does a wonderful job of showing how to see the big picture when it comes to preaching, and then dives in into each individual step and process to explain how to develop a sermon. He is helpful, clear, provides numerous examples, and is overall encouraging to any pastor, aspiring pastor or even a regular teacher in the church.
I would highly recommend this to anyone who teaches or preaches on a regular basis. Motyer provides a helpful pattern to follow to help those who preach and teach be faithful in their exposition of God's Word and helpful to the hearers.
I received a free copy of this book from Christian Focus Publications in exchange for an honest review.
Of course, it's a short book, so you won't find a seminary level course on hermeneutics, exegesis, homiletics, historical theology of preaching or whatever. But I dare to think that the seminary that set this book at the beginning or at the end of its pastoral training would be doing something very useful indeed.
Why is the book so good ? Motyer writes with humility. Hurrah ! At last a book written by an acknowledged expert who does not proclaim himself an acknowledged expert ! He confesses his struggles. He does not parade his great learning - after all this is the author of the magisterial commentary on Isaiah. He writes with humour. Sometimes the book is downright funny. He writes with honesty. He addresses issues that are sometimes painful to face. He writes with faithfulness. Hurrah ! At last a man who has nothing to give except the Bible ! And he writes with lots of useful nourishment. The book closes, rather strangely, with some devotionals taken from various places in the Scripture.
Buy the book. Read the book. It's not expensive and for the good it will do you it's very good value indeed. And soon you'll preach a really helpful sermon on Mary Magdalene sitting at the feet of Jesus.
Five stars. If I could I'd give it six!
I received the book free of charge in Kindle format in exchange for reviewing the book. I was not required to write a positive review.
Just how a preacher should engage his blood, sweat, tears and prayer into a sermon is what Alec Motyer’s compact volume is all about. Motyer is a British Biblical scholar. He is the Old Testament editor of IVP's commentary series, The Bible Speaks Today, and has written several volumes in that series. Additionally, he has had a lifetime ministry in the pastoral field. So, on the subject of preaching, he is well experienced.
This book gives advice and counsel on how to develop the content of a sermon and in large part provides examples of the method of preparation of a sermon. Unfortunately it weighs heavily to the second part and at times becomes more of a Biblical commentary than a self-help volume on preaching. It provides excellent examples on how to do Bible exegesis with a few preaching thoughts mixed in.
If you’re looking for a new approach to preaching, give Preaching? a try. If you’re a young preacher still developing your style, give Preaching? a try. But most of all, if you want to learn how to study the Scriptures better, whether you’re a preacher or not, give Preaching? a try.