Monday, May 15, 2017

"On Preaching" by HB Charles: A Review

There are three kinds of preachers: the ones you can listen to, the ones you cannot listen to, and the ones you must listen to. I desire to be the kind of preacher that you must listen to. But that requires more than desire. It requires hard work. And the hard work never ends, if you take your preaching assignment seriously. (10)
The primary work of the local pastor is preaching. This is not to suggest that his other responsibilities are unimportant or less essential to his calling. It is to say that the pastor must take his roll as a preacher seriously and this requires each of us to continue to grow as preachers. As such I continue to learn from some of the great preachers of our day. Recently I tole lege H. B. Charles helpful volume On Preaching: Personal & Pastoral Insights for the Preparation & Practice of Preaching.

I first heard of Charles in an article regarding his leadership in merging two churches: a predominately African-American congregation and a predominately white church. I celebrate his leadership in bringing racial reconciliation and I pray more of this takes place.

Yet it is his book on preaching that is our attention right now. The origin of the book is from a series of blogs that grew organically. Typically, these sort of books are my least favorites because they lack a single thesis, yet this volume walks the reader through the process of preparing and delivering of preaching typical of other books in the same category.

The advantage of Charles's work is simplicity and clarity. The author does not go into much detail into the nuts and bolts of exposition, how to break down difficult texts, how to approach different genres within the Bible, etc. Rather, Charles writes from a bird's eye view providing a general overview of the art and calling of preaching.

The work is also practical. He discusses theological training, how to use illustrations, what not to do when illustrating the text, planning one's preaching, etc. Charles does not lecture the reading about preaching, but guides the reader practically on preaching.

Overall, this is a helpful volume for preachers and I would recommend preachers consider reading it. We should never be content with our preaching. Instead we ought ever be growing in our preaching. Works like this help us in that endeavor.
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