Mark Dever and Greg Gilbert love the church of Jesus Christ. Whenever one of their books is released, it becomes immediately clear that a love for Christ’s church and the gospel are at the very core of each man. For example, I give a copy of Greg Gilbert’s excellent work, What is the Gospel? to each baptismal candidate at the church I pastor. It’s that good! So when Dever and Gilbert combine their collective experience and wisdom in order to write a book on preaching, my attention is automatically piqued.
Of course the authors don’t disappoint. Preach [Theology Meets Practice] is extremely informative and encouraging. Part One covers basic theological territory that lays the groundwork for the remainder of the book. The authors explore the important themes of propositional revelation, the power of God’s Word, and the centrality of expositional preaching. The kind of preaching they rightly promote is defined as “preaching in which the main point of the biblical text being considered becomes the main point of the sermon being preached.” Finally, the section concludes with a discussion that discusses the purpose of preaching: “We preach with the goal of spurring believers on in their maturity in Christ and of awakening nonbelievers to their need for the Savior … we preach with two main aims, to edify and to evangelize.”
Part Two surveys the practice of preaching. This highly practical section includes the nuts and bolts of the preaching task – preparation, structure, outlining, diagraming, and delivering the sermon. Dever and Gilbert trade back and forth sharing their particular bent on a given matter which brings depth to the overall tone of the book.
Once again, Mark Dever and Greg Gilbert provide an invaluable service to the church. Preach [Theology Meets Practice] is a terrific book for both beginning preachers and seasoned veterans. Beginning preachers will be encouraged to focus on the fundamentals of preaching and gain a host of practical suggestions that will inform and enhance their ministries for years to come. Experienced preachers will be refreshed and will receive new motivation for continuing a work that is of utmost value in God’s kingdom.