Like any laborer who is worthy of his hire, the preacher of God’s Word must endeavor to maximize his gifts and abilities within the vocation of his calling. One of the ways the expositor of truth can improve his skill set is to digest good reading material about preaching. Granted, reading about preaching can never take the place of preaching itself; if a preacher is going to “get better” he will have to preach, and not just read. But having good material on the subject will help you:
- Process your studying habits
- Spark ideas and thoughts about sermonic protocols and procedures
- Keep your messages within required biblical guidelines for true exposition
- Analyze your character and honesty in the preaching hour
- Realize the necessity for the power of the Holy Spirit
- Investigate your style, mannerisms, and delivery
Allow me to preface the list below: A recommendation is not an endorsement to the author’s total ministry or body of work. With that being said, here are some of the most practical, helpful, and resourceful books I have in my library on preaching.
On the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons
by John A. Broadus
This is a classic book that holds true to its title. This is a very practical manuscript that deals with everything from the foundation of the sermon to its delivery. This book, written almost a hundred years ago, proves that fundamentals need not change from generation to generation.
Knowing the Scriptures
This volume approaches the subject of preaching with a high value on scriptural inerrancy. Knowing the Scriptures is less of a “how” and more of a “why” manual. There is a ton of helpful chapters that deal with bible names, mathematics, prophecy, language, parables, etc. Great classic read.
Protestant Biblical Interpretation
This was a required textbook in my hermeneutics class in Bible College. Ramm deals with the historical schools of thought regarding hermeneutical theory and practice. He traces modern preaching styles all the way back to the scribes with the intent to show how preaching has developed over the centuries. This volume is more historical than practical, but still a great volume to have in your preaching library.
Grasping God’s Word
Scott Duvall and Daniel Hays
This was a required textbook in my hermeneutics class in seminary. This is an exhaustive and technical read (over 400 pages). The premise of the book is how to “bridge the gap” between the two worlds. When the authors say, “two worlds” they mean the world of the writers of Scripture (Moses, Isaiah, John, Paul, etc.) with the world in which we live. If you are looking for a volume on how to develop grammatical, literary, and historical understanding of Scripture this is the book for you.
Power in the Pulpit
This was one of the first books I obtained on preaching. In a very fundamental and introductory style, Vines shows the reader “how to” structure a message based upon proven and trusted principles of interpretation. Great read for anyone interested in getting more from bible study.
Preaching and Preachers
D. Martyn Lloyd Jones
Another classic must have. This book addressed the primacy of preaching within the body of Christ. Jones doesn’t deal with the technical elements of preaching per se, but rather gives great practical advice on what it takes to develop the man of God. I absolutely love this book!
Preaching that Pleases God
Very practical and helpful instruction on sermon exposition. Farrell, in this volume, connects technical instruction with applicable advice. It is evident that the book has the right title. After reading it, you will want to make sure your preaching pleases, first and foremost, the God of heaven.
He is Not Silent
One of my favorite books on the social and generational effects of preaching. Preaching in a post-modern world has its challenges. Mohler not only exposes the political correctness that has infiltrated the church, but admonishes the expositor to speak up in these spiritually-ambiguous times. I have read this book several times. Must have.
Rediscovering Expository Preaching
John MacArthur and Masters Seminary Staff
MacArthur attempts to balance the “art” and “science” of biblical exposition in this volume. I like this book because it not only deals with exegesis, hermeneutics, homiletics, but places an emphasis on spiritual development. Many books on interpretation of scripture only deal with the technical side of preaching, but this volume places a premium on the preparation of the preacher himself.
Harold T. Bryson
This book has a lot of the same material as the other books. I placed it on the list because of its appeal to preachers to return to sound, scriptural, fundamental, spiritual, expositional scripture. This is what the world needs in these last days – for a man of God to open the book and declare, “Thus saith the Lord.”