Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Books #10: Preaching and Preachers by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

I said in yesterday's post about the book, Lectures to My Students, that pastors have a great opportunity to attend a seminary class taught by Charles Spurgeon. Well, for the book that cracks the top ten, we have that same opportunity. In Preaching & Preachers by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, we get the opportunity to sit at the feet of one of the finest preachers in the last 100 years.

This book is somewhat similar to Spurgeon's book, but I had to place it one spot ahead of his book for one simple reason. This book was much more helpful for me as I thought through some aspects in the writing of my book, Helping Johnny Listen. For instance, his first several chapters all were formational for me in thinking through a theology of preaching. He so clearly lays forth a purpose for the act of preaching.

I remember the first time I read these words, for they so impacted the way I have viewed preaching ever since: "Preaching . . . is a transaction between the preacher and the listener" (53). It is not to be a single act of one person spouting information. It is to be an interaction between one man and many people. They are to work in harmony with one another. He is to influence them and they are to be influenced. Earlier Jones says,

"He is not there merely to talk to them, he is not there to entertain them. He is there-and I want to emphasise this-to do something to those people; he is there to produce results of various kinds, he is there to influence people. He is not merely to influence a part of them; he is not only to influence their minds, or only their emotions, or merely to bring pressure to bear upon their wills and to induce them to some kind of activity. He is there to deal with the whole person; and his preaching is meant to affect the whole person at the very centre of life. Preaching should make such a difference to a man who is listening that he is never the same again" (53).
This is such a great book and has influenced how I preach. It has impacted my preaching ministry more than any other book. Tomorrow, I will share with you what book has influenced my teaching ministry more than any other book. But for now, if you are in full-time ministry, this book should be a MUST!

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