This unique volume draws on the wisdom of Christian thinkers and preachers from across the ages to present a warm and informative collection of insights on the art of preaching. Gathering the writing of figures as diverse as Augustine, John Chrysostom, Jonathan Edwards, Gardner C. Taylor, and Barbara Brown Taylor, The Company of Preachers provides experienced advice on effective preaching, direct from the pens of those who have known it best. The book is arranged in seven divisions, each covering a central component of the preaching task. Editor Richard Lischer, himself a distinguished preacher and teacher, gives a brief introduction to each selection. Aptly presenting a theological and historical cross-section of the church’s homiletics, this volume will be invaluable to preachers, students preparing for ministry, and others seeking models of powerful Christian speech.
“Preaching should not contain jesting words, or childish remarks, or that melodiousness and harmony which result from the use of rhythm or metrical lines; these are better fitted to delight the ear than to edify the soul.” (Page 5)
“Finally, the kerygma always closes with an appeal for repentance, the offer of forgiveness and of the Holy Spirit, and the promise of ‘salvation,’ that is, of ‘the life of the age to come,’ to those who enter the elect community. ‘Repent and be baptized, each of you, upon the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children, and for all those far off, whom the Lord your God may call’ (Acts 2:38–39, referring to Joel 2:32; Isa. 57:19).” (Page 27)
“At least three things can be said. First, in order to read Scripture rightly, we must trust the God who speaks through Scripture.” (Page 271)
“The Protestant Reformers of the sixteenth century proclaimed that God’s word in Scripture must serve as the final judge of all human tradition and experience. Left to our own devices we are capable of infinite self-deception, confusion, and evil. We therefore must turn to Scripture and submit ourselves to it, the Reformers insisted, in order to find our disorders rightly diagnosed and healed. Only through the biblical writers’ testimony do we encounter the message of God’s grace; only the revelation of Jesus Christ, disclosed uniquely and irreplaceably through the testimony of the evangelists and apostles, tells us the truth about the merciful God and our relationship to that God. Without this word which comes to us from outside ourselves, we are lost.” (Page 266)