Many books are written on preaching every year, but not many of those books stand the test of time. Most of the books on preaching succeed in helping the reader understand theories on preaching, the history of preaching, or what the Bible teaches on preaching. Very few books on preaching are considered classics, and those that are combine what the Bible teaches on preaching, the history of preaching, and how to preach. Between Two Worlds: The Challenge of Preaching Today by John Stott is rightly considered a classic, a volume that has stood the test of time, because its author was a great preacher and statesman of evangelicalism for many years until his very recent death. This book demonstrates Stott’s immense knowledge of preaching and his desire to equip preachers, so they can faithfully proclaim the Word of God in their contexts.
In three hundred and forty pages, John Stott walks his readers through the history of preaching, objections to preaching, and theological foundations for preaching, preaching as Bridge-building, sermon preparation and being courageous and humble in preaching. The goal of Between Two Worlds is to address the “loss of confidence in the Word of God among preachers who no longer take the trouble to study the Word in depth and proclaim it without fear” (Stott, 7).
Between Two Worlds along with Preaching and Preachers by Dr. Lloyd-Jones are two of my favorite books on preaching. Between Two Worlds excels at grounding its teaching in the Word of God and then equipping the preacher to know and proclaim the Word faithfully. While no book on preaching can cover everything, Between Two Worlds accomplishes its purpose in addressing the “loss of confidence in the Word of God among preachers” (Stott, 7).
The greatest strength of this book is its emphasis on the Word of God, the Gospel of God, and how to proclaim the Word of God. The way Dr. Stott answers objections in chapter two should be emulated by other preachers as he writes plainly and points his readers to the truth of God’s Word.
I first read Between Two Worlds as a teenager in high school, and it helped formulate my views on preaching. Having read this book numerous times over the years, I’ve always benefited from it and learned a great deal on how to better communicate the Word of God. Between Two Worlds is a very helpful book on preaching that will help its readers to become better lovers and preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Author: John Stott
Publisher: Eerdmans (1982)
Dave Jenkins is happily married to Sarah Jenkins. He is a writer, editor, and speaker living in beautiful Southern Oregon. Dave is a lover of Christ, His people, the Church, and sound theology. He serves as the Executive Director of Servants of Grace Ministries, the Executive Editor of Theology for Life Magazine, the Host and Producer of Equipping You in Grace Podcast, and is a contributor to and producer of Contending for the Word. He is the author of The Word Explored: The Problem of Biblical Illiteracy and What To Do About It (House to House, 2021) and The Word Matters: Defending Biblical Authority Against the Spirit of the Age (G3 Press, 2022). You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or read his newsletter. Dave loves to spend time with his wife, going to movies, eating at a nice restaurant, or going out for a round of golf with a good friend. He is also a voracious reader, in particular of Reformed theology, and the Puritans. You will often find him when he’s not busy with ministry reading a pile of the latest books from a wide variety of Christian publishers. Dave received his M.A.R. and M.Div through Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary.