Review: Power in the Pulpit by Jerry Vines and Jim Shaddix

Jerry Vines and Jim Shaddix, Power in the Pulpit: How to Prepare and Deliver Expository Sermons (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2017).

Can you teach preaching?

It’s an audacious question if you think about it. Can you teach someone how to proclaim the Word of the Living God and do so powerfully and accurately? 

I believe you can and I would venture to say that Power in the Pulpit provides an example of just how to teach someone how to preach.

In 415 pages, pastors and preachers Jerry Vines and Jim Shaddix provide a helpful map for chartering the wonderful waters of Biblical expository preaching in a fashion that will inspire, excite, encourage and challenge anyone who desires this noblest work.

The book divides into three parts. Part One covers the Preparation for Exposition – thinking through what is Biblical exposition, why we do it and what kind of man the Bible expositor is. It is on this foundation that Part Two builds, thinking about the “mechanics” of expository preaching in a section on The Process of Exposition – how one goes from a Bible and a piece of paper (or an open document) to a completed sermon before culminating in Part Three and its treatment of delivery and preparation in The Presentation of the Exposition.

A special touch are a number of “personal testimonies” scattered through the book which provide some flesh-and-blood examples of the principles exemplified. As an aspiring preacher myself, reading those personal insights provided some much-needed encouragement, both that I can faithfully handle and proclaim God’s Word and to pursue excellence in my ministry of preaching.

As good a book as this is, the book did have a couple of areas I would note as worth changing. Though there were a few examples in the appendices, a few worked examples along with the opportunity to think through and try one’s hand out at the varying steps of Biblical exposition would have been appreciated. I also would have appreciated having the bibliography at the end of each Part rather than relegated to an appendix but this is admittedly more of a personal scruple than something important.

All in all, Power in the Pulpit is a fine resource for budding preachers as well as more seasoned expositors seeking to keep the fires stoked and skills sharpened. I commend it unhesitatingly.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange of a fair and honest review. I was not obligated to provide a positive review.

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