John Piper makes a compelling claim in these pages about the purpose of preaching: it is intended not merely as an explanation of the text but also as a means of awakening worship by being worship in and of itself. Christian preaching is a God-appointed miracle aiming to awaken the supernatural seeing, savoring, and showing of the glory of Christ.
Distilling over 40 years of experience in preaching and teaching, Piper shows preachers how and what to communicate from God’s Word, so that God’s purpose on earth will advance through Bible-saturated, Christ-exalting, God-centered preaching—in other words, expository exultation.
“This is worship: to act in a way that shows the heart’s valuing of the glory of God and the name of the Lord Jesus. Or, as we said in the introduction, worship means consciously knowing and treasuring and showing the supreme worth and beauty of God.” (Page 27)
“I’m going to suggest three questions that shed light on how the preacher decides what aspects of the author’s intention he will proclaim. (1) What is the ultimate goal of the biblical author in the sermon text? (2) How does the sermon text relate to Jesus Christ and his saving work? (3) What is the way of life that leads to final salvation rather than destruction?” (Page 200)
“But the message of the preacher is never a mere body of facts to be clarified. It is a constellation of glories to be treasured.” (Page 71)
“I see myself as part of a long tradition of preaching that emphasizes not only that the reality we preach should come from the biblical text, but that it should be plain to the hearers that it does. We should show the hearers how we saw what we saw through the text.” (Page 164)
“Calling the people of Christ his ‘Bride’ is not meant to imply a romance with individual Christians, but rather corporate headship, submission, sacrificial love, and reverence.” (Page 37)
John Piper writes with the expository conviction we expect, encouraging preachers not only to say what is true but also to show how the Bible establishes that truth. He writes beyond our expectations, however, when putting his pastoral finger on the chief expository errors within our ranks: the moralistic error (‘Just do it!’) and the replacement error (‘You can’t do it, so merely enjoy justification by imputed righteousness’). Finally, he advocates for the preaching we need, urging that in all our expositions ‘we would make a beeline from the cross to the resurrection to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to the giving of Scripture to the blood-bought miracle of new birth to the mystery of Christ in you, the hope of glory, to the beauties of Christ-permeating, Christ-exalting self-control and sober-mindedness and love.’ This is great writing to exult the glorious power of the gospel that pervades all of Scripture.
—Bryan Chapell, pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Peoria, IL
Piper shows how true preaching and true worship go hand in hand in the most natural way. This takes place when the preacher works carefully to exegete the text through the anointing of the Spirit and comes to the pulpit under the same influence. The goal is to bring out the spiritual reality behind each text of the Scriptures to honor the intention of the human writer, but especially to exalt the glory of the divine author who inspired the text. This is what this book is all about. Read it slowly, digest its content carefully, and then bring its principles into practice piously.
—Miguel Núñez, senior pastor, International Baptist Church, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
John Piper’s new book on preaching is a dream come true. I have personally been waiting for this book for nearly twenty years. Piper’s first book on preaching was monumental. This book is even better. It was worth the wait.
—Jason C. Meyer, Pastor for Preaching and Vision, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, MN
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