PREACHING WITH PURPOSE (A Comprehensive Textbook on Biblical Preaching), Jay E. Adams; Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., Phillipsburg, N.J. 162 pp., $5.95 (paper); reviewed by Prof. H. C. Hoeksema
TRUTH APPARENT (Essays On Biblical Preaching), Jay E. Adams; Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., Phillipsburg, N.J.; 100 pp., $4.95 (paper); reviewed by Prof. H. C. Hoeksema
As its sub-title indicates, the first of these books is intended to be a seminary textbook in Homiletics (the science of the art of preaching). The author, who for many years taught courses on preaching at Westminster Seminary (Philadelphia), prepared this textbook with a view to his new teaching task at the western branch of Westminster Seminary at Escondido, California. His avowed purpose with this book was “to develop a textbook on preaching for pastors, seminary students, and other Christian speakers that, I hope, will make an impact in our day significant enough to change preaching substantially.”
There is a large amount of advice in this book, some of it good, some of it not so good.
This reviewer is himself an instructor in Homiletics and practice preaching, and he can lay claim to more than a few years of experience in this field of study. He tended, therefore, to read and review this textbook with the question in mind: could this book serve adequately as a textbook in our seminary or in any Reformed seminary?
The conclusion, regretfully, must be negative. It is difficult for this reviewer to conceive of a Homiletics textbook which fails completely to define: preaching, the preacher, the sermon, the congregation to which the sermon is preached. Besides, a distinctively Reformed note is missing in this book. Conclusion: tried, and found wanting.
The second book covered in this review is a book of essays. The content and calibre of the essays is about the same as that of the first book. In fact, large chunks of these essays are incorporated in the textbook. It seems rather useless to multiply books of this kind which have substantially the same content. If you are interested in this field, my advice is to buy one or the other of these volumes, not both.