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Serving God’s Words

By Ed Paul A Barker et al
June 2012 | Review by Jonathan Bayes
  • Publisher: IVP
  • ISBN: 978-1-84474-547-0
  • Pages: 225
  • Price: 11.99
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Serving God’s Words

Ed Paul A Barker et al

IVP

225 pages, £11.99

ISBN: 978-1-84474-547-0

Star Rating: 4

 

Peter Adam is an Australian Anglican clergyman with a passion for expository preaching. He recently retired as Principal of Ridley College, Melbourne. This book was put together to mark the occasion. Each of the twelve chapters has been contributed by someone who has been influenced by Peter Adam.

      It is a book for preachers. The first chapter considers how the Ten Commandments should be preached today. There then follow five chapters which look at Biblical models for preaching – Moses, the apostles in Acts, and Paul in some of his letters. Chapters 7 and 8 address the preacher’s devotional and ethical life, while the next two chapters discuss two preaching-related issues. The first of these is a thoughtful chapter by Peter Jensen on how to offer Biblically sound interpretations of contemporary disasters. In the other Michael Raiter questions whether there has been an overemphasis on unction, while not dismissing the notion entirely. The final two chapters highlight the lessons which can be learned from two historical examples – the sixteenth-century Anglican homilies, and Charles Simeon.

      The underlying assumption guiding the entire book is summed up in the chapter by Allan Chapple: ‘authentic Christian ministry is to be grounded on and shaped by the apostolic message and models.’ David Jackman cautions against short-term measures which are a panic reaction to our contemporary situation. David Peterson reminds us that Spirit-led preaching is more than mere spontaneity: it is the leading of the Spirit through a lifetime of careful study. Graham Cole points out that a mediocre preacher with a godly character will achieve far more than a brilliant preacher who is careless about his life. Vaughan Roberts quotes Charles Simeon’s counsel: ‘Do not preach what you can tell, but what your people can receive.’

      The book is consistently well written, and stimulates serious examination of our calling, even where we do not agree with every statement.

 

Jonathon Bayes,

Thirsk

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