There are four distinct voices that preachers gravitate toward in their efforts to persuade, according to Reid. These include the teaching voice (explaining through argument); encouraging voice (facilitating an encounter with God); sage voice (critical reflection or analysis that invites exploration); and testifying voice (engaging listeners and seeking to build community). Reid’s book provides sample sermons grounded in each voice.
Readers will come away from this book better able to identify their own primary voice while being able to speak in other voices when needed. Few books on preaching combine so deftly important theoretical ideas with practical implications. This book will be a welcome companion in the classroom and would be an excellent resource for clergy colleague groups and for a preacher's own reading.
—Ronald J. Allen, Christian Theological Seminary
The Four Voices of Preaching provides a smart new way of thinking about the relationship that exists between preachers and listeners. Reid shows how preachers adopt voices that call forth responsive identities from listeners. This book significantly advances our understanding of voice in homiletics today.
—John S. McClure, Vanderbilt Divinity School
Robert Stephen Reid (Ph.D., University of Washington) is director of the masters of arts in communications program and chair of the communications department at the University of Dubuque.