Dozens of preaching books come out every year. Before and during seminary I read at least two dozen books on preaching. I’ve found that most preaching books tend towards focusing on how to explain and apply the text or deliver the sermon. Few books combine the best of scholarship out there without having to go to another book. This is why I liked Expositional Preaching: How We Speak God’s Word Today by David Helm. Over the years the 9 Marks series (Building Healthy Churches) has been a means the Lord has used in my own life to help me think through a variety of ministry related issues in addition to their helpful ministry website.
The book is divided into four sections. In the first section the author seeks to explain contextualization that is how to speak the Word of God in a way that people will understand. In chapter three the author focuses on how to exegete the text. Chapter three helps the reader understand the role of biblical and systematic theology and focusing on Jesus. In chapter four the author helps his readers understand how to speak to your audience, arrange your sermon study into a coherent sermon outline and apply your message.
The author states his purpose is to expound on how “expositional preaching is empowered preaching that rightfully submits the shape and emphasis of the sermon to the shape and emphasis of a biblical text. In that way it brings out of the text what the Holy Spirit puts there, and does not put into the text what the preacher thinks might be there” (13). To put it another way as Dr. John Piper has rightly said, “Preachers are to preach the point of the text as the point of the sermon.”
As I read this book I felt I was being instructed by a seasoned preacher on how to preach well and leave a legacy that preaches the Bible as the whole counsel of God’s Word. The tone of this book is warm as the author aims to help shepherd pastors and teachers of the Word of God towards being workman who rightly handle the Word of God. What sets this book apart is the accessibility of the material. There isn’t anything groundbreaking in this book and that is good because it doesn’t aim to do that but rather to help refocus the preacher on the the Word with a view to explain how it connects to the person and work of Jesus.
Expositional Preaching: How We Speak God’s Word Today is a very helpful book. While there may be parts where preachers depart with Helm, I think his book would be very helpful as a reminder to seasoned preachers and teachers, and a must read for preachers in training to learn how to become a faithful expositor of the Word of God. While the book offers a step-by-step- guide for preachers this book will equip every Christian to recognize good preaching when they hear it. This is why I recommend it not only pastors, pastors in training, Sunday school teachers but every Christian to read this book and learn what expository preaching is. This accessible and helpful volume is one of the most concise and useful books on preaching I’ve read to date. I highly recommend it and pray the Lord it powerful to continue to awaken a passion for expository preaching in the life of His people for His glory.
Author: David Helm
Publisher: Crossway (2014)