We’ve all heard sermons that sound more like a lecture, filling the head but not the heart. And we’ve all heard sermons tailored to produce an emotional experience, filling the heart but not the head. But biblical preaching both informs minds and engages hearts—giving it the power to transform lives. By the Spirit’s grace, biblical preaching brings truth home from the heart of the preacher to the heart of the hearer.
Joel Beeke—a pastor and professor of preaching with over four decades of experience—explores the fundamental principles of Reformed experiential preaching, examining sermons by preachers from the past and bridging the historical gap by showing pastors what the preaching of God’s life-transforming truth looks like today.
“This translates well into experiential (or experimental) preaching. Reformed experiential preaching explains how things ought to go in the Christian life (the ideal of Romans 8), how they actually go in Christian struggles (the reality of Romans 7), and the ultimate goal in the kingdom of glory (the optimism of Revelation 21–22). This kind of preaching reaches people where they are in the trenches and gives them tactics and hope for the battle.” (Page 25)
“For now, I can offer the following tentative definition: Reformed experiential preaching is preaching that applies the truth of God to the hearts of people to show how things ought to go, do go, and ultimately will go in the Christian’s experience with respect to God and his neighbors—including his family members, his fellow church members, and people in the world around him. Even more simply, we could say that the Reformed experiential preacher receives God’s Word into his heart and then preaches it to the minds, hearts, and lives of his people.” (Page 41)
“This is not to say that faith and experience are different things. Rather, faith is the root of experience, and experience is the fruition of faith.” (Page 48)
“Second, preachers must identify the line that separates the false professor (the hypocrite) from the true believer.” (Page 27)
“In short, discriminatory preaching must remain faithful to God’s Word. Grace is to be offered indiscriminately to all (Matt. 13:24–30); however, the divine acts, marks, and fruits of grace that God works in his people must be explained to encourage the elect to know themselves aright and to uncover the false hopes of the hypocrites.” (Page 29)
Heart to heart: this is the preaching that ‘cuts us to the quick’ and applies the balm of Gilead. And it is marvelously modeled in this book. Having appreciated every sermon I’ve heard from Joel Beeke, I am sure that you will discern a refreshing connection between doctrine, experience, and life in his writing.
—Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California; Host, White Horse Inn; author, Core Christianity
Reformed Preaching is unique for its emphasis on learning to preach experientially from the Reformers and their theological successors through the centuries. Joel Beeke convincingly shows that Reformed preaching is doctrinally sound, profoundly personal, and effectively practical. Far from being a contemporary model, this work presents the preaching of the Reformation, which encompasses head, heart, and hands, as the enduring way to proclaim Scripture. This is a very foundational understanding of the Reformation impact on the history of the church.
—John MacArthur, Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California; President, The Master’s Seminary; Chancellor, The Master’s University
Faithful preaching is intimately bound up with the heartbeat of faithful Christian living. The proof of this is seen throughout the history of the church. Wills, affections, lives, churches, and entire communities have been transformed when the proclamation of God’s Word has reached beyond the mind to the heart. This was true during the Protestant Reformation, was repeated under the influence of the Puritans, and has been witnessed during times of revival. Joel Beeke mines the theology and practice of the great preacher-pastor-theologians of the past in a way that is guaranteed to bless and equip those who carry the baton for the generation they serve in the present and beyond.
—Mark G. Johnston, Minister, Bethel Presbyterian Church, Cardiff, United Kingdom
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by a world-class set of research and study tools. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.