What makes a great sermon? Stories? Self-help? One big idea? Brevity? For Randal Pelton, great preaching flows out of Christ-centered interpretation of the Biblical text. Instead of fuzzy preaching, Pelton’s approach is focused to sticking with the actual interpretation the Bible states.
Pelton has a great idea in this book, to preach building on the solid foundation of God’s Word. Notice it’s foundation, not foundations. He’s not advocate of multiple interpretations of a Bible passage, but a clear interpretation that ties into the overall message of the Bible which is Christ.
Reading this book, I developed a greater appreciation for a clear understanding of the verses that are preached. Instead of a fuzzy recollection of what verses might mean I felt a greater commitment to dig deeper into the Biblical text that is to be proclaimed. The unified overall story combined with the unique story of the passage being considered provides greater clarity in the message proclaimed.
What I enjoyed most about this book was Pelton’s engagement with other homiletical / preaching view points. Tim Keller, Rick Warren, Rob Bell, Haddon Robinson, Bryan Chappell and many others. This provided a greater strength to the dialogue and a greater level of processing my own preaching style. I didn’t always agree with his conclusions about individual preaching styles, but I did appreciate the engagement.
Where Pelton lost me is making something that seemed simple, feel so complicated. Textbi Conbi Canbi referring to text, context, and canon. All of a sudden it felt like a physics book, and physics books confuse me. I was also hoping that an emphasis on preaching with accuracy would have more on application that interpretation. Perhaps this book is intended for seminary classrooms, and that’s why it needs to offer a greater level of sophistication. I was left disengaged by this part of the book.
I give Preaching with Accuracy 3 out of 5 stars. The 3 stars are for the emphasis on a clear focus on what God actually says int he Bible to be interpreted correctly. The book left me with a greater value for this practice. The lost of the 2 stats is for making complicated what seemed so simple. This book is a good tool for those new to the preaching craft and new to the idea of building off the Biblical text and not the latest self-help emphasis.
My thanks to Kregel Academics for a free copy to review. I wasn’t required to give a positive review just an honest one.