As you look across many of my recent posts, it seems have been on a stint of reviewing books related to preaching covering either expository or narrative preaching. I was very pleased when I was able to get a copy in my hands of the Engaging Exposition book from B&H Academic to do a review on it. This one is a little unique in that three authors that worked together on this project. What was written as possibly a textbook for a preaching class, this book is so helpful even for an individual person to learn so much from it. I would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to learn more about or fine tune their expositional preaching. To be completely honest, it is probably the best book on expositional preaching that I have read to date..
I received a copy of this book from B&H Academic for me to do a review on it. In full disclosure, I was not required or requested by B&H Academic to write a positive review.
I would give this book a 9.8 out of my normal 10 point rating scale. On a “5 star” scale that some websites use, I would give it a very solid 5 star rating.
The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
<http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
**See all sections below for full detailed review**
Often books written by multiple authors (three in the case of Engaging Exposition) will feel somewhat disjointed and compartmentalized by the different authors. However, Engaging Exposition is a true exception to that as it flows naturally between the authors. It is very easy to read and understand, but at the same time, so practical and applicable. Engaging Exposition is written in three sections, each author taking one section. First is Discovery, written by Bill Curtis where he adeptly covers the Hermeneutics (or interpretation) of the Biblical text. Second, Daniel L. Akin covers Development of the message with excellent ideas and examples. Finally, Stephen Rummage competently covers the Delivery of the message, going into detail about vocalization, speech and many other very critical topics to engage with the hearers of the message.
The authors state at the beginning and at the end of the book that “Engaging exposition is not an option. It is an absolute necessity for the health of the body of Christ.“. They really did an excellent job presenting their case in detail throughout this book
I really appreciated the first section part of this book, as the author, Bill Curtis, went over in-depth the Inductive Bible Study approach as it closely reflects many of the steps that we did in the Inductive Bible Study Classes we did at our church. The entire book is full of such valuable guidance, wisdom and practical advice from the aspect of studying and correctly interpreting God’s Word, to crafting a sermon all the way to delivering that sermon in an effective manner. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that feels a calling to preach. This book will be referenced in my library for many years to come as I work on improving my preaching. In fact, after this review, I will be going through the book and start taking notes so I can start utilizing the approaches outlined in this book. Dare I say that Engaging Exposition is a “must have” for anyone interested in Expository preaching?… without question.
DESCRIPTION OF THIS BOOK
Type of Book: Preaching
Publisher: B&H Academic / Lifeway
Publication Date: June 1, 2011
ISBN-13 of Book Reviewed: 978-0805446685
Price: At the time of writing this review, the cheapest place to get this book is from Christianbook.com. They have it for $24.99 – suggested retail from the publisher is $34.99. The publisher does sell it directly from their parent company website (LifeWay). See below for a breakout and links to the different prices from some major re-sellers. Please note that these prices do not include any potential shipping charges.
Typeface and Print:
The ease of reading this book was very good. Good printing and a fairly opaque paper make this easy to read the text on every page with very little show-through.
Ease of Use:
Readability of this book was very good. Some other books on expository preaching are bordering or fully on a seminary level regarding terms and verbiage, but this one actually is different in that aspect. Very easy to read and understand, yet full of such wisdom and so practical to anyone that wants to either start or improve their expository preaching. As I mentioned in my summary, I am very impressed that this was written by three different authors. To be honest, it felt like one author wrote this book in the aspect of how well the flow of content was presented. I have read other books that were written by different authors and you can tell where the author switched in the text. Not so with this book. VERY well done and VERY highly recommended.
Foreword (David Platt)
Introduction (Daniel L. Akin)
Section 1 – Discovery (Bill Curtis)
Chapter 1 – A Journey of Discovery
Chapter 2 – The Origins of Biblical Hermeneutics
Chapter 3 – The Author’s Intended Meaning in a Text
Chapter 4 – Basic Principles of Hermeneutics
Chapter 5 – Discovering the Author’s Method of Communication – Prose
Chapter 6 – Discovering the Author’s Method of Communication – Poetry
Chapter 7 – Developing a Genre-Specific Outline
Chapter 8 – The Significance of Context
Chapter 9 – Discovering the Author’s Language Clues in a Text
Chapter 10 – Identifying the Main Idea of the Text
Section 2 – Development (Daniel L. Akin)
Chapter 11 – Developing the Main Ideas of the Text and Message
Chapter 12 – The Work of Exposition: Structuring the Message
Chapter 13 – The Word of Exposition: Developing the Message
Chapter 14 – Illustrations: Helping Your People See Bible Truth in Action
Chapter 15 – Application: How Does It Work?
Chapter 16 – The Introduction: How to Begin Well
Chapter 17 – The Conclusion: How to Land the Plane Safely
Chapter 18 – Giving an Invitation: Soul Winning from the Pulpit
Chapter 19 – Preaching on Special Occasions
Chapter 20 – 20 Common Questions and Answers in Developing Biblical Messages
Section 3 – Delivery (Stephen Rummage)
Chapter 21 – What’s the Bid Deal about Delivery?
Chapter 22 – How We Produced Speech
Chapter 23 – Speaking with Your Best Voice
Chapter 24 – Preaching with Your Entire Body
Chapter 25 – Making a Lasting Impression
Chapter 26 – Your Delivery System
Chapter 27 – Style Can Make a Difference
Chapter 28 – Preaching to the People in Front of You
Chapter 29 – Preaching with Visual Appeal
Chapter 30 – The Preacher’s Personal Life and Public Behavior
Conclusion (Daniel L. Akin)
From the publisher’s website: B&H Academic, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources, is dedicated to providing resources for undergraduate and graduate theological education.
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