"This little book is written for ordinary ministers who preach regularly to ordinary people in ordinary places... Most of us preach in gatherings that are smaller than we would wish and tougher than we might have hoped when we entered pastoral ministry... There is a voice on our shoulders who whispers as we prepare, and then as we preach, ‘Is it really worth it?"—From the Introduction.
Christopher Ash tells us that it is worth it. More than that, he sets out a charter for preaching that draws from the very roots of the Old Testament—showing us that nothing in the world is more worthwhile—for preaching is God's strategy to rebuild a broken world.
“My thesis in this first chapter is that we must listen today to the voice of the Christian preacher because he is the prophet in our generation as Moses was in his.” (Page 16)
“But preaching in its essence is an authorized human being speaking the words of God to listening human beings; and every culture understands that.” (Page 28)
“I suggest that the big issue in Deuteronomy is this: how are the covenant people going to continue after the covenant mediator is gone? How are the people of God to continue to be the people of God in the absence of their founding leader? How is the covenant God to govern his people after the covenant mediator is dead, the one through whose ministry they have been redeemed?” (Pages 22–23)
“The purpose of preaching is performance—not the performance of the preacher but the corporate performance of the whole assembly whose lives and relationships are shaped by the preached word of grace. Therefore in our preaching we must not neglect practical instruction about ethics, how to behave, how to live as people under grace.” (Page 102)
“The first is that, all too often, a Bible study group is a place where discussion substitutes for submission to the word of God.” (Page 29)
All in all I found this short book to be as helpful as anything that I've read in a long while on expository preaching. I commend it warmly to all.
—Alistair Begg, Senior Pastor, Parkside Church, Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Above all, I want to encourage us to our desks, our prayer, our preparation, and our love for people, with a new spring in our steps as we labor at loving people by preaching to them week by week. My prayer is that this book will encourage the discouraged preacher to persevere with fresh zeal and enthusiasm, because I have convinced you that this Sunday men and women can hear the voice of the living God from your mouth.
—Christopher Ash, Director, Cornhill Training Course, London