Jerry Vines & Adam B. Dooley, Passion in the Pulpit: How to Exegete the Emotion of Scripture (Chicago: Moody Press, 2018), 206 pp.
“If the great things of the Christian faith are rightly understood, they will affect the heart.” When Jonathan Edwards penned these words in 1746, he did not intend to spark controversy. His only desire was to be faithful to the Scriptures. The intersection of the head and the heart is a subject that is of paramount importance. A Christian can stuff his mind with theological gold and remain a religious pauper. According to Edwards, there is no dichotomy between the head and the heart. If the heart isn’t transformed by truth, all is lost.
Jerry Vines and Adam Dooley address the important intersection between the head and the heart in their most recent book. Passion in the Pulpit: How to Exegete the Emotion of Scripture argues that preachers must convey pathos in their preaching. The authors provide a helpful definition of biblical persuasion, namely, “To seek the desired, voluntary response revealed within the Bible’s logos and pathos in an effort to seek the glory of God and the spiritual benefit of an audience.”
The authors strenuously maintain their thesis throughout the book and successfully drive home the point that biblical preacher must, by definition, be passionate preaching. Indeed, as they write, “Capturing the meaning of Scripture without also communicating its heart falls short of the divine mandate to preach the Word.”
Various angles are explored throughout the book which alert readers to the task at hand. Everything from the need for passion, exegetical tools, and persuasive techniques are offered with the ultimate aim of passionately and powerful proclaiming the written Word of God.
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