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.

 

In Case You Missed It

In a recent article at his personal blog, Dr. Bruce Ashford asks: “Is it true that Jesus was not ‘political’ during his time on earth?”

As a political opinion writer, I am generally amused by many of the critical comments people leave on my website or my Fox News Opinion pieces; sometimes I am amused because the comments are insults, other times because they are patently inane.

 

Yet, other times, the critical comments should be taken seriously because the commenter intends them seriously; one of the most serious and recurrent criticisms is that, “Christians should not be involved in politics and public life at all. Jesus wasn’t political, and he never asked us to be political.” In effect, they are saying “Withdraw from politics and public life.”

 

So, was Jesus “political” during his time on earth?

 

In a continuing interview with the Intersect Project Dr. Jim Shaddix shares three pitfalls to avoid when preaching for cultural engagement.

In a rapidly changing culture, more and more Christians are discussing the importance of cultural engagement. Yet what role does preaching play in cultural engagement and cultural formation? What dangers should we avoid?

 

To help us answer these questions, we turned to Jim Shaddix. Dr. Shaddix is the W. A. Criswell Chair of Expository Preaching at Southeastern Seminary. In addition, he is an accomplished preacher and author.

 

In part one of our interview, Dr. Shaddix explained why and how preachers can engage culture. Here’s part two of our conversation.

 

At the Peoples Next Door, Keelan Cook explains how global cities are the Roman Roads of the 21st Century. Keelan writes:

I recently ran across a quote I would like to share concerning the significance of global cities in the mission of the church. It is from Jared Looney, who wrote Crossroads of the Nations:

While it is unlikely that this status will remain static, global cities such as New York City, London, Tokyo as well as Paris, Toronto, Sao Paulo, Houston, and many other key urban centers are of strategic importance for the present and future church. Such cities are centers of global influence and points of connection between nations and cultures. As the Gospel moved along the Roman roads through the cities of the Mediterranean world and people gathered at wells in ancient villages, global cities are now nodes in a global network and are of strategic importance for the mission of the church (Looney, Crossroads of the Nations).

There are two or three things I want you to see in this one. First, certain cities are rising to a new level of significance for the Great Commission. Looney compares these “global cities” to the significance of the Roman roads for the spread of the gospel. Honestly, I think he is right.

 

In a recent article at the Intersect Project, Nathaniel Williams discusses Lin-Manuel Miranda, ‘Hamilton’ and the value of work.

Two years ago, few people knew who Lin-Manuel Miranda was. Today, he’s a household name. Why? Because of Hamilton.

 

Miranda wrote and starred in this hip-hop musical about the brilliant but abrasive founding father. The show became an instant sensation. Tickets are sold out months in advance. It won Tonys, Grammys and even a Pulitzer. The musical may have even kept Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill.

 

Yet translating Alexander Hamilton’s story from the history books to the stage was not an easy task. Miranda wrote the musical’s first song in 2009. The show did not premier until six years later. Hamilton is the fruit of Miranda’s years of hard work.

 

In retrospect, the years Miranda spent crafting his historical hip-hop masterpiece were well spent. The show has been a runaway success. But what if the show had flopped? Would his work still have been worth it?

 

In a guest post at Thom Rainer’s blog, Jonathan Howe discusses five reasons why he, a millennial, still likes using hymnals.

I might lose my Millennial card for admitting this, but:

 

I like hymnals. A lot.

 

Yes, I realize I’m supposed to want to worship with fog machines and song lyrics on projector screens with cool moving backgrounds. And sometimes I enjoy that too—but not all the time.

 

So why would a 36-year old Millennial enjoy hymnals? Here are my five reasons.

 

Chuck Lawless recently shared ten fears of young church leaders. Dr. Lawless writes:

Almost every day, I work with young people preparing for ministry. They are some of the most gifted, committed young adults I’ve ever met in 20+ years of serving as a professor. At the same time, though, they have fears that my older generation must recognize.

In Case You Missed It

At The Intersect Project, Dr. Jim Shaddix discusses the role preaching plays in cultural engagement and cultural formation.

In a rapidly changing culture, more and more Christians are discussing the importance of cultural engagement. Yet what role does preaching play in cultural engagement and cultural formation? To help us answer these questions, we turned to Jim Shaddix.

 

Dr. Shaddix is the W. A. Criswell Chair of Expository Preaching at Southeastern Seminary. In addition, he is an accomplished preacher and author. Here’s part one of our conversation.

 

At The Peoples Next Door, Keelan Cook writes to the church: “This is your time…and place.

We have all seen that well-intentioned pastor or speaker on a video in our Facebook jazzed about how this is the biggest moment in the history of the world. The face changes, but the message does not. This is our time, and we must seize it. Carpe diem!

 

If every day is the most important, then no day winds up being important. Too much sensationalism and it is eventually overlooked. But that is not the purpose of today’s post.

 

In his substantial work on the doctrine of the church, Gregg Allison makes a really important point and I want to tease out some of its implications.

 

Carrie Kelly posted an article at The Intersect Project discussing five things we can learn from St. Patrick.

During the 5th century, St. Patrick of Ireland bravely engaged a barbaric culture for the sake of Christ, and his legacy changed the course of history, not only for that society but arguably for the entire Western world.

 

Captured by Irish raiders at his father’s country villa at age 15, Patrick spent 6 years watching his master’s livestock for long isolated days on end, spending much of his time in prayer and communion with God. Finally escaping, he made his way back to his home in England only to have a dream of the Irish calling him back to the land of his captors to share the good news of a God who loved them. By the end of his life of ministry, numerous churches and monasteries had been set up all over Ireland and “countless number” had been baptized into the Church.

 

How could one man have had such an impact — and what can we gain from his example? Here are five lessons you can learn from St. Patrick of Ireland.

 

Jeff Crawford posted an article earlier this week discussing how to leave a church well. Dr. Crawford writes:

This past Sunday I had to opportunity to preach one more time to my beloved family of believers at Cross Church. In two weeks I will begin serving as the Senior Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN.

 

Thirteen years of my ministry career, over the course of two separate tenures, have been through Cross Church and under the leadership of my friend, mentor, and brother in Christ, Dr. Ronnie Floyd.  This second tenure spanned four years, with me serving as co-founder of the Cross Church School of Ministry and Teaching Pastor. I have raised my four children in connection with Cross Church and all four were baptized there. As I reflected over the last 20 years of connection and 13 years of ministry with this dear church, I found my thoughts and emotions running deep. So many connections. So many people we love. So many ups and downs, joys and tears, and celebrations. So much life lived with the best staff, lay people, and Pastor for which a man could hope.

 

At his personal blog, Dr. Chuck Lawless shared twelve random questions for church leaders to consider.

I talk with a lot of church leaders, and the conversations often wander into many varied directions. If you’re a church leader, take some time today to think about these random questions.