Excellence in preaching (book review)

EXCELLENCE IN PREACHING Excellence in preachingLearning from the best
By Simon Vibert
IVP. 176 pages. £8.99
ISBN 978 1 844 745 197

Simon Vibert, Vice Principle of Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, has written an excellent book about how good preachers communicate. Based on a short survey of preachers, theological students and congregational members, he has selected for his assessment a broad range of preachers that people enjoy listening to.

The author starts in the right place by introducing Jesus Christ as the supreme example of preaching. He follows this with 12 chapters that each analyze the particular strengths of a modern preacher — mostly names we know well, such as Tim Keller, Vaughan Roberts and Alistair Begg. Those that are part of this evaluation were only intended to be a sample of good preaching. The author freely admits that there are many other preachers who could have been added.

His method is to give the reader a brief introduction to the preacher and then to ask what makes him a good communicator. He then considers their particular strengths in preaching. It’s a creative way of ‘learning from the best’. This reviewer found the result both interesting and engaging. The practical nature of the book and the direct application of good principles of preaching are of particular use.

For the congregational member, this is a good book to buy for your pastor. You may find that his thoughts about preaching will be stimulated and his weekly preparations challenged. For anyone who preaches regularly, the lessons for preachers today at the end of every chapter are brilliant summaries that provide bullet points for improvement in specific areas. It also makes a great ‘go to’ book for anyone who is interested in preaching and learning more about those who do it well. The author deserves our appreciation for putting this material into print.

Rick Battenfield, 
minister, Eythorne Baptist Church, Kent


This article was first published in the June 2012 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, subscribe to EN or contact us for more information.
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