Book Review “Preach the Word: Essays on Expository Preaching in Honor of R. Kent Hughes”, Part 1 “The Hermeneutical Distinctives of Expository Preaching” by David Jackman

Posted: April 14, 2009 by Rick Hogaboam in Homiletics/Preaching

preach-the-wordI will be reviewing each essay from this great book that I highly recommend for all pastors. This first essay is written by David Jackman, president of The Proclamation Trust, titled “The Hermeneutical Distinctives of Expository Preaching”.

Here are some great quotes from Jackman’s essay:

In 1592, William Perkins, an English Puritan scholar-pastor and a fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge, wrote a book entitled The Art of Prophesying. Only thirty-four years of age, Perkins lamented the scarcity of true biblical ministers—a truth that he claimed was self-evident from the experience of all ages. His complaint was that few men of quality and ability seek out the calling of the preaching ministry. Moreover, even of those who have the titles, very few really deserve the honorable names of messenger (angelos) and interpreter. Even at the ascendancy of Puritan influence, in the last decade of the Elizabethan era, it was apparently still very difficult to find godly pastors who could exercise effective expository ministries. 

Reading that makes me question whether I am even competent to the glorous task of preaching. I just pray that I will grow in grace and be able to faithfully minister God’s Word…so help me God!!!

Here’s another great quote:

Everything depends upon our detailed, careful, and disciplined reading of the text. Effective reaching, as Eugene Peterson has pointed out in his excellent book Working the Angles, begins with “passionate hearers, not cool analysts.” Our problem is that the skills of literary analysis we have been taught often seem to deprive us of any sense of immediacy, or even intimacy, in hearing the living Word of the living God through the paragraphs, sentences, and individual words of Scripture. The text needs to be seen not as an object to be analyzed, dissected, or even “mastered” so that we can then begin to “do something with the Bible.” Rather, we need to hear it as the urgent, present-tense message of the present-tense God (I AM) through our minds to our hearts to energize our wills in faith and obedience. Then the Bible is doing something with, in, and to us. If the preacher’s life is being changed through his encounter with God in the “living and enduring Word” (1 Pet. 1:23 NIV), he really does have a message to proclaim, not simply from the written page but from the heart.

Oh, may I always some to Scripture “Coram Deo” (before the face of God). Granted the task of sermon preparation and preaching involves careful analysis of the text of Scripture and much labor in the Word, but it must be engaged with a hungry heart, or else it won’t be conveyed from the heart, nor received into the hearts of the hearers. I think that Evangelical preaching is sometimes too often spoken only to the head or to the heart…the challenge is to be faithful to both head and heart. That is my aim and I pray that my sermons will always evidence not only my mental engagement of God’s Word, but also my heart engagement.


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