Phillip Jensen: preaching is more than sermons

I was interested to read no lesser person than Phillip Jensen confirming that preaching is more than sermons …

What, then, is the essence of preaching? It is not related to the number of people we speak to, nor is it related to our ability to communicate. The essence of preaching is passing on the message as we have received it – that it what it means to speak the very oracles of God …

Sermons and preaching are not synonymous … Biblical preaching is about communicating God’s thoughts and not our own. And so we preach biblically whenever and wherever we declare the word of God to each other. In fact, sometimes there may even be more preaching happening over morning tea than from the pulpit, if dozens of conversations revolve around sharing God’s word of encouragement and rebuke with one another. Sermons, in other words, are a subset of a larger activity – the activity of proclaiming God’s word to one another, and from one generation to the next. Preaching is an activity that all are called on to perform.

It’s a quote from Jensen’s new book, written with Paul Grimmond, entitled The Archer and the Arrow: Preaching the Very Words of God which is published tomorrow (1 September). Ironically the rest of the book is on preparing and delivering sermons.

Available here from and

Thursday Review: almost everyone on The Art and Craft of Biblical Preaching

Today and tomorrow I’m reviewing two books on preaching. Tomorrow I’ll look at Preaching Re-Imagined by Doug Pagitt purchase from Amazon UK purchase from Amazon US. Today it’s …

A review of Haddon Robinson and Craig Brian Larson (eds.), The Art and Craft of Biblical Preaching: A Comprehensive Resource for Today’s Communicators, Zondervan, 2005. purchase from Amazon UK purchase from Amazon US

I was going to call this book a ‘treasure trove’ on preaching and then I noticed that’s exactly how it’s described in the opening line of blurb. Ah well. It is a treasure trove.

The Art and Craft of Biblical Preaching is a collection of over 200 articles from Leadership journal and supplemented by articles written specially for the book. I was a bit sceptical that this might mean some ephemeral content, but not so. Instead it means that, despite the book’s 700 plus pages, all the content is tightly written and to the point. It also means we’re treated to a veritable who’s who of evangelical preaching including Jay Adams, Alistair Begg, Rob Bell, Stuart Briscoe, Don Carson, Tim Keller, Gordon MacDonald, John Ortberg, Ben Patterson, John Piper, Haddon Robinson, Rick Warren, Warren Wiersbe and Dallas Willard. The authors are mostly north American, but there are contributions from John Stott, Dick Lucas and David Jackman. There’s also a CD with sermon extracts linked to specific articles in the book so you can hear examples of principles taught in the text.

I started listing chapters I particularly wanted to highlight, but after listing the first four chapters in a row I gave up

So instead here are some things I love about this Continue reading