In Case You Missed It

1) If you really (like under a rock) missed it this week, David Platt was elected was the new President of the International Mission Board.

2) Check out the reaction to Platt’s election from Russ Moore, J. D. Greear, and Paige Patterson.

3) Speaking of David Platt, he has a post on Life on Mission over at the SEND Network.

4) Chuck Quarles, SEBTS Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology, writes about the devil’s lie over at B&H Academic.

5) Tony Merida, Associate Professor of Preaching at SEBTS and Pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, NC, writes about the essential secret of preaching.

Book Notice: Preaching the Farewell Discourse

Kellum_preaching-the-farewell-discourseYou can’t say you weren’t informed. Scott Kellum’s fine new book, Preaching the Farewell Discourse: An Expository Walk-Through of John 13:31–17:26, is published (B&H, 2014) and available for purchase.

Kellum, Associate Professor of Greek and New Testament at SEBTS, is perfectly positioned to write this book, as he is both an expert in the Farewell Discourse and a seasoned preacher. In the book, he argues that expository preaching is more than the serial public exegesis of a biblical book on Sunday mornings. He argues that preaching is a complex exercise that combines hermeneutics, exegesis, examination of literary context, illustration, and application.

He argues that the structure and concepts of a given text (from its largest to smallest parts) ought to form the structure of your sermon. Kellum says, “In an expository sermon everything about the text should drive the framework of the sermon (in both structure and concept).” (p. 12) In discovering the structure of a passage one discovers the meaning a biblical author wanted to convey. To preach is to discover that meaning and translate it into a contemporary idiom when the church gathers.

In chapter one, Kellum outlines his expository theory, which contains a step-by-step process for doing this. Sermon prep should include: an examination of literary context, identification of the historical context and canonical (whole Bible) context, and preparation of the proclamation, which includes outlining and illustrations (pp. 15–39). Chapter two contains Kellum’s method for analyzing the literary structure and flow of thought of John 13:31–17:26. He employs what linguists and biblical scholars call “discourse analysis” to show readers what he means. (He is clear that this is a way, not the way to study the text –– see p. 227.) Though the terminology may be new and somewhat daunting, Kellum ably explains this approach and demonstrates its payoff for studying the Bible.

Chapters 3–7 contain his study of each major section of the Farewell Discourse using the approach outlined in chapter 2. Each major unit (e.g. 14:1–31) is broken into smaller sections. Sermon sketches of these smaller units show how one moves from text to sermon. Each sketch shows the main idea of the text, main idea of the sermon, and an outline of the text. Two appendices offer practical helps in study resources (Appendix 1) and collected outlines of the Farewell Discourse (Appendix 2).

Kellum closes the book by saying, “Be confident that our Paraclete is working through you to his people. His Word will not return void to him. Set his Word on the wind, and watch the Spirit go where he desires. He requires you to be faithful. Abide in him. May God richly bless your preaching and teaching ministry.” (p. 227) The best books challenge our minds and stir our hearts. This book does both. It is well worth buying.


Heart to Heart: Octavius Winslow’s Experimental Preaching

Turley BookOctavius Winslow (1808–1878) was one of the most influential evangelical preachers in the English-speaking world during the Victorian era. Like his more famous contemporary, Charles Spurgeon, Winslow was famous for his experiential Calvinism that in many ways embodied the older puritan spiritual tradition. Winslow also had one of the more interesting spiritual pilgrimages of his era. After pastoring several prominent Baptist churches, including a congregation he established in the English city of Bath, Winslow left the Baptist tradition and became an Anglican priest. You might say he evolved from a Spurgeon sort of Baptist into a J. C. Ryle sort of Anglican.

Tanner Turley has recently published a fine study of Winslow’s preaching titled Heart to Heart: Octavius Winslow’s Experimental Preaching (Reformation Heritage, 2014). Tanner is a two-time Southeastern Seminary graduate who planted and now serves as lead pastor of Redemption Hill Church in Medford, Massachusetts. Heart to Heart is a revised version of Tanner’s excellent dissertation under preaching professors Danny Akin and Greg Heisler. I had the opportunity to read most of this material in dissertation form and am grateful that Tanner’s work—and Winslow’s life and thought—will gain a wider reading thanks to this book.

You can check out the table of contents below. You can also download the table of contents and introduction from the Reformation Heritage website. Thanks to Reformation Heritage for publishing this important book. We trust it will be a valuable resource for contemporary pastor-theologians who want to learn at the feet of an important historical role model.

Turley TOC