Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Book Review - Preaching Christ

I'm not sure what to do here. On the one hand I have a book to review that deals with a worthy subject. On the other hand, I don't think it's very good. I usually chicken out at this stage and just don't bother reviewing the book. But I feel an obligation to the general reader to be up front about these things. It's a difficult line to walk - being honest and being gracious, and I don't know how well I manage it, but here goes:

Preaching Christ
Edgar Andrews
ET Perspectives No.1
(Evangelical Press)

This book was originally a series of articles in Evangelical Times, and I find it hard to know why it was reproduced as a book. It is not that there is anything wrong in the book, it is just that there is nothing new in it - it has all been said before. As a series of articles it may have had a place summarising what preaching Christ involves, but as a book it doesn't 'compete' with other fuller and more helpful volumes.

I started reading it with high expectations - what preacher wouldn't want to know more how to preach Christ better. So I was hoping to find help in preaching Christ, especially from the Old Testament. But alas, the author simply outlines that we are to preach him, as the New Testament preachers did, from direct references, from types and pictures, and from obscurer references. And not much more detail is given than that, although a couple of outlines are given as examples. Much more on the 'how to' would have been more useful. As it is, it is really just an extended plea to preach Christ more.

That said, I appreciated his insistence that we must preach Christ to Christians. It is not enough to preach Christ evangelistically, but Christ must continually be set before believers in all the fullness of his salvation.

If you are really looking help in this area I would suggest Graeme Goldsworthy's "Gospel and Kingdom", and "Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture". For two excellent books on preaching in general see "Preaching, pure and simple" and "Ministering like the Master" both by Stuart Olyott.

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