Do we really need another book on preaching? There are so many good books on the market: Helm’s Expositional Preaching, Piper’s The Supremacy of God in Preaching, Keller’s recent Preaching. So why has iServe Africa brought out yet another?
- Tuned to the East African context. Many of the good books on preaching are from the US or UK. To the extent that they are sound and biblical they are very useful but inevitably there are somewhat different cultural issues, blindspots and theological needs in different contexts. The material in Let the Bible Speak has been developed and tested in East Africa (particularly Kenya and Tanzania). It speaks to a context where the main problems are not so much the radical scepticism of Manhattan or the resistance to authority of metropolitan UK but rather more issues such as prosperity gospel, moralism, motivational speaking, hyper-Pentecostalism, Scripture twisting, and the multiple challenges and distractions facing pastors including poverty and politics. Also, as far as possible, we’ve tried to keep the text of the book readable and free of idioms and examples unfamiliar in East Africa.
- Letting Scripture teach preaching. Rather than argue from philosophy or systematic theology, Let the Bible Speak lets the Bible speak about preaching. Our method is to go through the Scriptures (with particular focus on Genesis and Paul’s letters) seeing what they say about preaching – what it is and how to do it. By this inductive approach we are trying to be expository even in the way we discuss expository preaching and hopefully the result is that the reader is convinced by the Scriptures themselves not by our assertions and arguments.
- A particular focus on Old Testament narrative. You can’t cover everything in a short introduction to preaching so we focus on what is one of the most common (an most commonly abused) genre to hear in our pulpits and Sunday school classes. While many of the lessons in the book will apply to all types of biblical literature you’ll find most of the examples are from Genesis, Ruth, 1 Samuel etc.
- A practical approach. This is a course book. You can read it as a book but it’s been developed to go with the Utumishi wa Neno church-based course. That’s why there are exercises at the back which go with each chapter/session. You can do them on your own but there is nothing like searching the Scriptures with a group of fellow Bereans.
- Unashamed focus on preaching Christ. The aim of this book is not so much to enable people to preach ‘better’ sermons – clearer, cleverer, better structured, more exegetically careful, more culturally sensitive, more impactful (important as those things are). The aim is that we would develop what Sinclair Fergusson and Tim Keller have called an ‘instinct’ for seeing Christ in the Scriptures and preaching him – offering him as bread to hungry souls.
[Let the Bible Speak is available from iServe Africa Bookstore for KES 500 or it is given to participants as part of the Utumishi wa Neno course (details pdf)]