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In two weeks I will enter my last semester at Criswell College. During this last semester I will be studying Preaching the Old Testament. I usually try to get a head up on things before the semester begins, so I have begun reading on the topic.

I have just finished a book that is not required for the course I am going to take (but probably should be) entitled, Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture by one of my favorite authors, Graeme Goldsworthy.

This is easily the best book on preaching I have every read. I enjoyed Bryan Chapell’s book and John Stott’s book very much, but the difference in approach is what makes the cake for me.

Instead of approaching preaching and sermon preparation in a scientific manner, we should approach it in a revelation-oriented, gospel-centered manner. The difference between a book like Chapell’s Christ-Centered Preaching or Jerry Vines’ Power in the Pulpit and Goldsworthy’s book is the former focuses on the professional sermon preparation process, while the latter focuses on correct interpretation and application. It may be that in most preaching books the cart is in front of the horse.

When we begin to teach men how to preach the gospel we want them to be able to interpret the Bible before they preach it, don’t we?

I am with Goldsworthy when he laments the fact that hermenuetics has been placed on the backburner during sermon preparation. His goal is to provide a way for the preacher, no matter how well-educated, to be able to prepare sermons and sermon series that exalt Christ and his gospel and also place each text preached in its biblical-historical context. This is a great combination and the beginning of keeping teachers and preachers from ignoring the Old Testament and its riches in their ministries.

Overall, the book is excellent and should be on the shelf with Chapell, Stott, Piper, Spurgeon and Robinson. These books complement each other and will bring a balanced and gospel-centered approach to preaching.

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