Good contextualization is critical to communicating the message of the Bible. But good contextualization is hard work. It requires intimate knowledge of both Scripture and the audience that you’re trying to reach. In his new book, Excellent Preaching, Craig Bartholomew explains how to preach so that the powerful message of the Bible penetrates the daily lives of your congregation.
To celebrate the launch of this new book, we’ve built a bundle of 15 carefully selected resources to help you bridge the gap between Scripture and culture.
Bridging the gap
Grounded in rigorous scholarship and rooted in years of preaching experience, Excellent Preaching helps preachers connect the message of the text to everyday life.
Some preach sermons firmly grounded in Scripture, but the message will fall flat if it is not contextually applied. Others excel at contextualization, but the relevance of their message will do no good if it is not consistently biblical. Bartholomew seeks to avoid either pitfall, bridging the gap between a biblical foundation and relevant application.
As Bartholomew writes in the preface:
I can think of few things more important than a renaissance of preaching in our day. My hope is that this small work will contribute in some measure in that direction. Moses and Jesus would remind us that we do not live simply by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Some perceptive analysts argue that for the first time in history we in the West are trying to live and form societies “by bread alone.” In such a context we should not expect preaching to be a priority—but in truth, this increases the need for really good preaching.
In Excellent Preaching, Bartholomew imagines the contextualization of Scripture to your congregation’s life in relation to a series of concentric circles:
To compliment the insights found in Excellent Preaching, we’ve carefully selected 14 other resources that fit into each of these areas. With these resources in your sermon-prep toolkit, you’ll be able to:
- Understand the needs, ideas, and reflections of your congregation
- Identify the cultural milieu of modern secular society
- Globalize your perspective to reach across borders
- Gain a historical understanding of the church’s mission
- Recognize your place in the ongoing biblical story
You’ll get books like Every Square Inch, DIY Bible Study, Mending a Fractured Church, and more! Begin bridging the gap between Scripture and culture with Excellent Preaching by Craig Bartholomew and 14 other ministry resources.