A Personal Word on the Preaching the Commentary Series

In a previous post, I shared an excerpt from the preface to the Preaching the Word Commentary Series, edited by Dr. R. Kent Hughes.

I want to follow up with a personal word about Dr. Hughes and his approach to preaching.

I’ve never met Kent Hughes, but I feel indebted to him on a personal level because he mentored two men who changed my life, David Helm and Jon Dennis.

Dr. Hughes was their pastor and boss at College Church in Wheaton during their formative ministry years, about two decades before I came under their care at Holy Trinity Church in Chicago.

In my four years of pastoral training under them, I learned the approach to preaching Dr. Hughes passed on to them, which he adopted from preachers like Charles Simeon and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. It changed forever how I study and teach the Bible.

The approach is expositional, but with a particular focus on identifying the structure and emphasis of a passage. Week after week in biblical exposition workshops, they taught me how to identify the structure of any passage in any genre, follow that structure to the author’s main point, focus that point through concentric circles of context, and then relate it to Christ’s redemptive work for a modern audience.

In short, they gave me instincts for reading the whole Bible in light of Christ for life today.

After a lifetime in the Church and seven years in Bible college and seminary, I’ve heard countless preachers and witnessed dozens of preaching styles. I have found no approach more faithful to Scripture and powerful for communicating it.

The guiding principles and convictions behind this approach mark the Preaching the Word Commentary Series, of which Dr. Hughes is the series editor. D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, says of it, “There is a long history of informed, edifying biblical expositions that have been mightily used of God to shape and strengthen the church. These volumes admirably fit this tradition.”

Whatever your theological tradition, I commend these commentaries to you. They will make you more sensitive to what the original authors are saying, help you shape your sermons more closely around the biblical text, and show you how to preach any passage in light Christ’s work, without bulldozing its original meaning.

In short, they will reform your preaching. And since preaching is personal, they will reform you.

Get them here.


Written by
Matthew Boffey

Matthew Boffey (MDiv, Trinity International University) is the pastor of worship at Christ Church Bellingham. He is also editor-in-chief of Ministry Team magazine, has edited several books, and has written for several blogs and publications, including Relevant online, the Logos blog, and the Faithlife blog.

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Written by Matthew Boffey