Subscribe now

The Preacher’s Catechism

By Lewis Allen
July 2019 | Review by Matthew Cox
  • Publisher: Crossway Books
  • ISBN: 978-1-4335-5935-8
  • Pages: 224
  • Price: £17.67
Buy this book »

Lewis Allen has evidently thought long and hard about the nature of the Christian ministry. The result is The Preacher’s Catechism, a collection of 43 questions and answers which bring essential truths to the preacher’s heart.

Loosely following the structure of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, its subjects include the glory of God, sin, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Ten Commandments, the sacraments and the Lord’s Prayer. Each answer is followed by two or three pages of application, targeted at those with responsibility for teaching God’s Word. Wise words are cited from some of church history’s best writers and preachers.

The answers themselves are probably not ideal for memorisation, and some don’t quite answer the corresponding question directly. The wording seems to aim more for soundbites than for precision.

But Allen has a gift for getting personal. His words penetrate the preacher’s thought life and expose subconscious and sub-Christian tendencies. Examples include thinking that our vocation guarantees God’s acceptance (p.91) and turning preaching itself into an idol (chapter 23). The reader is led gently to repentance and to Christ.

The book would be most helpful for those in full-time ministry; a chapter on Monday morning will serve as a tonic for the failures of Sunday! It will help to lift up downhearted and weary pastors, heal those who are hurt, and apply the gospel to those who are backsliding.

Matthew Cox

Bethersden, Kent

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Still Protesting: Why the Reformation Still Matters
Associate Professor of Church History D G Hart

Dr Darryl Hart shows in this book that the biblical truths discovered during the Reformation still matter today. He also applies his broad knowledge of theology, church history, American history and politics to explaining why American Protestants are turning to…

See all book reviews
Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Evolution and the Christian Faith. Theistic evolution in the light of scripture (Creation Points)
Philip Bell

The creation / evolution debate still rages, and many Christians believe it is both scientifically untenable and scripturally naïve to accept a literal account of the beginning of Genesis. Some even charge creationists with pushing a teaching that is a…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
New Covenant Theology: Weighed and Found Wanting
Kevin McGrane

To read this book was like a breath of fresh air. I could not put it down. Despite the traction that has been gained in the UK among evangelicals by the so-called ‘new covenant theology’ (NCT), it is surprising that…

Star RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar RatingStar Rating
Can We Trust the Gospels?
Peter J. Williams

This is almost unique as an apologetic resource. Christians usually must choose between big books which are scholarly or popular books which are simplistic. This book presents robust arguments that ordinary people can follow. In eight digestible chapters Williams serves…