B&H Academic, 2016. 300pp.
This is a homiletics book that could easily be used at both an undergraduate and graduate level of theological pastoral training. Tony Merida has done a very fine job of recapitulating classical expository principles.
The book has two sections: The Expositor’s Heart and The Expositor’s Message. There is also an appendix that has some helpful tools for preachers.
The expositor’s heart examines issues such as the character of the preacher, prayer life and motivation. Merida does an excellent job h ere outlining some of the requirements needed to be a godly steward of the Word of God.
The second section contains a pretty standard outline for how to prepare and preach an expository sermon. This section is especially useful for young preachers and homiletic students. Older, seasoned preachers will be helped by the reminders but might not find any really new principles in sermon preparation.
The appendices are especially helpful as Merida gives practical advice on preaching opportunities outside of a Sunday morning such as weddings and funerals. He also has a sermon check list and a form to help evaluate a sermon. This form is very helpful as it can sometimes be hard to get honest feedback from others on our preaching.
Benefit for Pastoral Ministry
This book will benefit pastors in three ways: as a guide for new preachers, as a correction to seasoned pastors and practical tools for all pastors. New preachers will benefit from the book as it gives such clear and direct steps towards writing an expository sermon. The section that examines the heart of the preacher acts as a spiritual check-up which helps us do deep inner searching of our character and motives.
Seasoned preachers will benefit from the self-reflection encouraged by the first part. Reviewing the principles for expository preaching can help experienced preachers self-correct and make sure they are “correctly handling the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
The appendix could almost be a standalone shorter book as it proves to be so helpful and practical. Every preacher would do well to employ the sermon review template that Merida has prepared. Regular review, analysis and adjustment can only help the preacher get better and clearer.
Another way in which the book will help pastors is the overwhelming focus Merida has on how preaching can and should bring glory to God. Clear expository preaching can be a tool in the hand of God to spread his truth which then leads people to worship Him.
Essential — Recommended — Helpful — Pass It By
This Lifeway Pastors review is by Santosh Ninan.