Book Review: The Homiletical Plot: The Sermon as Narrative Art Form

The Homiletical Plot, Expanded Edition: The Sermon as Narrative Art FormThe Homiletical Plot, Expanded Edition: The Sermon as Narrative Art Form by Eugene L. Lowry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall a pretty good book. The concept of narrative sermon has to do with final form for delivery. So, the parts of the book dealing with how to get a sermon idea were the weakest. He doesn’t underplay exposition or theology, but I think the readers might not take them seriously enough. I understand how speaking of the plot of the sermon could be confusing to some, but it needs to be worked through. You going to have to overlook somethings and other things you will need to discern principles and make your own applications. It is a good and helpful read.

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Book Review: The Imperfect Pastor: Discovering Joy in Our Limitations through a Daily Apprenticeship with Jesus

The Imperfect Pastor: Discovering Joy in Our Limitations through a Daily Apprenticeship with JesusThe Imperfect Pastor: Discovering Joy in Our Limitations through a Daily Apprenticeship with Jesus by Zack Eswine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pretty good read. This is a very practical look at pastoral ministry. Some parts resonated more than others.

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Book Review: Expository Exultation: Christian Preaching as Worship

Expository Exultation: Christian Preaching as WorshipExpository Exultation: Christian Preaching as Worship by John Piper
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a fantastic treatment of the task of preaching. Piper aims to bring together the rigors of exposition with the beauty of Christ’s Gospel from Genesis to Revelation. He gives careful attention to various texts throughout the Bible to show how every good promised to believers in Scripture is bought by Christ’s work on the cross, so the preaching of Christ from all Scripture is not some tacked on mask or afterthought. This book is helpful on a number of levels and will help you think about the aim of preaching and how that aim is accomplished through faithful exposition.

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Book Review: The Archer and the Arrow: Preaching the Very Words of God

The Archer and the ArrowThe Archer and the Arrow by Phillip D. Jensen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a treasure of experiential wisdom. Books on preaching come in a lot of different ways. I would categorize this one as practical, though it does have a helpful touch of theology. Every preacher ought to read it. I would encourage young preachers especially to read it. Young preachers will get immediate help from but won’t have the real-world experience to recognize some of the wisdom it has. That’s okay. This is one of those books that is worth reading once and reading again every few years.

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Book Review: By Whose Authority? Elders in Baptist Life

By Whose Authority? Elders In Baptist LifeBy Whose Authority? Elders In Baptist Life by Mark Dever
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This brief book takes up the question of multiple elders in Baptist churches. Dever approaches the answer from Scripture, Baptist history, and practicality. The scriptural arguments section is a survey of the instances of elder(s) in the New Testament. He notes the interchange of elders, overseers, and pastors to describe the same local church office of leadership. Dever also references the use of the plural for this office in reference to a singular church in the New Testament. It is worth noting that the New Testament does not use the singular for the office with either the singular or plural for churches.

Dever quotes from historic Baptist confessions of faith as well as the writings of various Baptists in history that refer to the practice of multiple elders. He may not have put it in quite these terms but I believe Baptists in history have a unique polity from other groups where Baptists have upheld independent, autonomous churches that practice elder-led congregational polity. Not only are Baptists historically distinct in this, but also biblical.

The last section seemed the briefest of the three. Dever succinctly touches on practical aspects of plural leadership. This section wanted a more extensive treatment. The book is probably a good introduction to the subject. It can be read in less than an hour and does touch on major points. Again, it’s concise and not an extended treatment, but helpful.

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