What do you get when you cross a book on preaching methodology with a historical survey of Reformed preachers from Calvin to D. Lloyd-Jones? You get a book like Joel Beeke’s Reformed Preaching. I found the book helpful to distinguish the common denominators in Reformed preaching across the centuries, and certainly was encouraged by his thoughtful application of these defining features. This is a book that will commend itself well to any preacher who values the Reformed tradition. I wouldn’t expect many outside of the pulpit to want to buy or read it. Nonetheless, it’s a superb book and I leave you with some of my favorite quotes:
- Reformed experiential preaching uses the truth of Scripture to shine the glory of God into the depths of the soul to call people to live solely and wholly for God.
Of Edwards: All of his doctrine was application and all of his application was doctrine.
- Spurgeon says, “Where the application begins, the sermon beings.”
Both internally in a preachers own conscience, as well as in the consciences of his people, a fearless application of God’s truth will exact a price.
- E. M. Bounds, “The sermon is forceful because the man is forceful.”
Calvin taught that the preached Word and the inner testimony of the Spirit should be distinguished but cannot be separated. Word and Spirit are joined together organically; without the Spirit, hearing the preached Word only adds to the condemnation of unbelievers. On the other hand, Calvin admonished those who emphasized the Spirit apart from or at least at the expense of the Word, saying that only the spirit of Satan separates itself from the Word.
- Increase Mather on his father, Richard, “His way of preaching was plain, aiming to shoot his arrows not over his people’s heads, but into their hearts and consciences.”