New Books: Power in the Pulpit and Progress in the Pulpit.

Image Source: Moody Publishers

Image Source: Moody Publishers

Power in the Pulpit: How to Prepare and Deliver Expository Sermons

Power in the Pulpit is an updated and revised edition of the original expository preaching textbook released in 1999. It’s a comprehensive ‘how-to’ book on preparing and delivering expository sermons. The revision lays out a more focused philosophy (Ch. 1) and theology (Ch. 2) of expository preaching, as well as a more simplified process of moving from exegesis to sermon preparation (Chs. 4-6).

In this work, Drs. Jerry Vines and Jim Shaddix have achieved a balanced approach to sermon preparation in Power in the Pulpit. This primer combines the perspective of a pastor of forty years with that of someone who devotes daily time to training pastors in the context of theological education. It offers practical preaching instruction from a tradition that sees biblical exposition as a paramount and frequent event in the life of the local church.

Power in the Pulpit is the combined work of Dr. Vines’s two earlier publications on preaching: A Practical Guide to Sermon Preparation (Moody Publishers, 1985) and A Guide to Effective Sermon Delivery (Moody Publishers, 1986). Dr. Shaddix carefully organized and supplemented the material to offer this useful resource that closes the gap between classroom theory and what a pastor actually experiences in his weekly sermon preparation.

 

Progress in the Pulpit: How to Grow in Your Preaching

Image Source: Moody Publishers

Image Source: Moody Publishers

Progress in the Pulpit is a companion volume that encourages preachers to continue to grow in their preaching. Each of the 12 chapters addresses a different subject wherein a preacher can make progress in his preaching (e.g., planning, evaluating, using language, depending on the Spirit, pulpit disciple-making, etc.).

Like musicans, preachers get better over time—unless, of course, they neglect maintenance. Progress in the Pulpit is for seasoned preachers looking to refresh their craft and receive guidance for contemporary challenges to preaching.

While most preaching books are geared toward new preachers, Progress in the Pulpit builds on the basics and focuses on what often falls into neglect. You will learn to better:

  • Connect to audiences without compromising biblical truth
  • Plan, evaluate, and get feedback on sermons
  • Battle biblical illiteracy in your congregation
  • Employ word studies and other technical aspects of biblical interpretation
  • Increase imagination and creativity in sermon writing
  • Extend the life of a sermon via social media, small groups, and more
  • Establish habits for continued growth

Drs. Jerry Vines and Jim Shaddix, who wrote Power in the Pulpit, remain committed to pure expository preaching. Yet they understand that the times change and present new challenges. Here they offer guidance to help preachers stay sharp and grow in the craft of faithfully proclaiming God’s Word.

 

Dr. Jerry Vines (B.A., Mercer University; Th.D., Luther Rice Seminary) retired as pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida in 2006, where he served for 40 years. He served two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Jerry is author of a number of books including Power in the Pulpit: How to Prepare and Deliver Expository Sermons, and A Practical Guide to Sermon Preparation. He and his wife, Janet, have four adult children and five grandchildren.

Dr. Jim Shaddix (BS, Jacksonville State University; M.Div., D.Min., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; Ph.D., New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as Professor of Preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, occupying the W. A. Criswell Chair of Expository Preaching. He has pastored churches in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Colorado, and also served as Dean of the Chapel and Professor of Preaching at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in New Orleans, LA. Jim is the author of The Passion Driven Sermon (Broadman & Holman, 2003) and co-author of Power in the Pulpit with Jerry Vines (Moody, 1999). Jim and his wife, Debra, focus much of their attention on discipling and mentoring young leaders and spouses. They have three grown children.

 

Brent Aucoin – Christianity and Racism in America: The Story of Thomas Goode Jones

 

In a recent faculty lecture at Southeastern Seminary, Dr. Brent Aucoin tackled a difficult topic: The connection between Christianity and racism.

In his lecture, Dr. Aucoin told the story of two white Christians with differing racial viewpoints. One of these men, Thomas Goode Jones, was a Christian who promoted African Americans’ dignity and value. The other was Thomas Dixon, Jr., who was a Baptist pastor who popularized racism in the twentieth century through a series of novels.

If after watching the video above you are interested in learning more about Thomas Goode Jones, check out Dr. Aucoin’s book: Thomas Goode Jones: Race, Politics, and Justice in the New South.

In Case You Missed It

At the Intersect Project, Dr. Nathan Finn answered a few questions about the relationship between spiritual formation and mission from a new book, Spirituality for the Sent: Casting a New Vision for the Missional Church, which he co-edited with Dr. Keith Whitfield.

In recent years, evangelicals have pursued a more holistic Christian mission and participated in discussions about spiritual formation. Yet these two important movements have developed independently and rarely intersected.

Nathan A. Finn and Keith S. Whitfield want to change that. In Spirituality for the Sent: Casting a New Vision for the Missional Church (IVP Academic, 2017), Finn and Whitfield bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines and ecclesial traditions to address the relationship between spiritual formation and mission.

Nathan A. Finn (PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is a professor of Christian thought and tradition at Union University, where he also serves as dean of the School of Theology and Missions. He was kind enough to answer a few questions about the book, mission, spiritual formation and cultural engagement.

 

At his blog, The Wardrobe Door, Aaron Earls posted an article discussing how “coasting” only becomes an option in the mind of a Christian when we forget we are trying to draw closer to a person. Aaron writes:

How much did you enjoy coasting down a hill on your bike as a kid?

 

You can put your feet off to the side (or on the handlebar if you’re feeling really daring) and let gravity do all the work. Enjoying the wind against your face is the reward for all the effort you spent pedaling up.

 

As a kid, that was one of the greatest feelings, but sometimes things can go wrong.

 

Once, I was going too fast down a hill. I hit a bump, flipped over my handlebars and rode upside down for a few feet before crashing into a briar patch.

 

Attempting to coast spiritually, has put many Christians in a similar predicament without their even realizing it. Coasting is not an option for the Christian.

 

Over Easter weekend, a fascinating conversation took place on Twitter among several well-known evangelical women writers discussing the ideas of Christians building “platforms” and “brands.” Since that original conversation, several blog-posts have been written discussing this topic further. Below, are a few of these: