I should probably make it a point to include in my yearly reading list books on preaching, but as it stands there hasn’t been much intentionality on my part. I’m going to be rereading Mohler’s “He is not Silent,” but other than that there isn’t much that comprises my time concerning preaching; this obviously needs to change, since I do preach formally each and every week, as well as informally in discipleship/mentoring relationships. The aforementioned detail is why I picked up “The Archer and the Arrow.” In addition, I’ve found anything that Matthias Media puts out is quality stuff. This post will simply be a summary of the first couple chapters of the book, as well as my thoughts; subsequent posts will follow.
The book is outlined as follows:
- The oracles of God
- My aim is to preach the gospel
- Preaching the gospel by expounding the Bible
- Of the importance of feathers
- The archer and the target
- To those God has given me to love
- The risks the preacher takes
First, the chapter on “the oracles of God.” Philip Jensen and Paul Grimmond immediately tackle the issue of what is preaching. If preaching is simply concerned with becoming a better orator then individuals may be more inclined to read books of style or how to hold an audience. But as you might assume, they believe, as do I, that preaching is more than simply holding an audience’s attention. Preaching, as outlined in the Scriptures deals with individuals explaining and speaking God’s truth and remaining faithful to what He has said. Additionally, the element of character is of profound importance. Paul says, “this is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy” (I Corinthians 4:1-2). And as such they say, “the distinguishing feature of a good stewards is that they be found trustworthy – that they deliver in pristine condition whatever has been entrusted to them” (Jensen/Grimmond, pp. 13).
Chapter two seeks to define the gospel and explain how all of the Bible points to this marvelous truth. Jesus, in His rebuke to the Pharisees says, “you search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life” (John 5:39-40). Furthermore, the gospel message is “much better envisaged as a circle that encompasses the whole of the Bible’s message” (pp. 29). Here is a simple diagram they put together to describe the gospel, but the authors are quick to remind the reader that this is not an exhaustive diagram.