What is the Glory of Preaching?
Last year, I began reading a print copy of Darrell Johnson's The Glory of Preaching for my own edification. After I had finished the first chapter, I e-mailed our VP of Licensing and asked him to license the book for Accordance. It's that good, and I'm pleased to announce that an Accordance edition is now available.
What makes The Glory of Preaching so good? Well, it covers much of the ground you would expect in a book about preaching, discussing the process of moving from studying a passage to developing a sermon, various ways to structure a sermon, how to deliver the sermon, etc. But that's not what convinced me we needed it in Accordance. Remember, I had only read the first chapter at that point. The things that immediately struck me about this book were its inspirational tone and its refreshing depth. It just didn't read like the typical manual of preaching techniques. It reads more like a series of encouraging conversations with a seasoned preacher—one who is well aware of the challenges preachers face, but who somehow never lost his passion for preaching.
Johnson's central thesis is that "something always happens":
Whenever a human being, Bible in hand, stands up before a group of other human beings, invites the gathered assembly into a particular text of the Bible and as faithfully as possible tries to say again what the living God is saying in the text, something always happens. Something transformative, empowering, life-giving happens.
This understanding of preaching as "participating in God's transformation of the world" is what Johnson asserts is the "glory" of preaching. From this opening claim that "something always happens," he goes on to cast a vision of preaching which is hopeful, inspiring, and encouraging.
In Part One of the book, Johnson lays what he calls the "theoretical foundations for participating." In other words, he begins by developing a theology of preaching: answering the questions, "Why does it happen?", "Does it really always happen?", "Where does it happen?", and "How does it happen?" Along the way, he offers his own perspectives and advice, addressing the practical issues Christian preachers face all the time.
It is only after he has laid these "theoretical foundations" that Johnson begins discussing the "mechanics" of preaching. And just as Johnson's inspirational tone makes the "theoretical" discussion seem anything but "theoretical," so it makes this section on "mechanics" seem anything but "mechanical." Again, reading this section is like sitting at the feet of an experienced preacher and getting practical help without the imposition of a rigid process.
In short, if you're looking for a little inspiration, some encouragement, and much valuable instruction on how to "participate in God's transformation of the world" more effectively, you're sure to find it in The Glory of Preaching. Be sure to take advantage of our introductory price of just $12.99 before December 31.