What Book on Preaching Would You Recommend above All Others?

If a young preacher stepped into your office asking for your best book on preaching, what would you suggest?

Before I go further, I ask that you would answer that question in the comments. With a little help, this post can be a wonderful resource for preachers looking to grow their craft.

Here’s how I would answer it—not as the seasoned preacher, but as the young one.

Below are the most formative preaching books and resources I’ve encountered over the years, almost all of them assigned to me by Bible college professors, seminary professors, and pastors.

I’ve grouped them by category and linked to the Logos resource where we carry them (publisher website when not). I’ve also ranked my top three from the list.

To learn the basics

Creative Bible Teaching (Gary J. Bredfeldt and Lawrence O. Richards)

This is the first book I ever read on preaching/teaching, and it remains a wonderful introduction to the basics of communicating biblical truth. It emphasizes preaching/teaching to people, not just preaching/teaching a truth.

To not be boring

Saving Eutychus (Gary Millar and Phil Campbell)

The humorous title says it all: this is a book about preaching sermons that keep your listeners awake. It’s authored by two men with disparate styles, but who share a passion for engaging sermons.

Communicating for a Change: Seven Keys to Irresistible Communication, including the audio version (Andy Stanley)

Though I don’t share all of Stanley’s convictions, I do love his commitment to preaching one big idea clearly and engagingly. I read this book in Bible college, and it’s principles often tap my shoulder in the sermon writing process to say, “Clear the clutter. Say what you need to say, and say it in an interesting, personal way.”

To preach expositionally

Expositional Preaching: How We Speak God’s Word Today (David Helm)

This is my one book, the one I would hand to every preacher.

You can read it in under an hour, but you’ll refer to it over and over. I particularly enjoy the first chapter, where Helm describes several pitfalls of preaching. For example, “inebriated preaching”:

On those weeks when we have stood in the pulpit and leaned on the Bible to support what we wanted to say instead of saying only what God intended the Bible to say, we have been like a drunken man who leans on a lamppost—using it more for support than for illumination.

The other chapters guide you in applying context and theology to your preaching and then communicating it all as a cohesive whole to your particular audience. It’s the shortest yet most helpful book on preaching I know.

My ranking: 1st

Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon (Bryan Chapell)

There are dozens of books on expository preaching, but Chappell’s is the most thorough I’ve read. It’s meant to be a total guide to the craft, and I remember it as such.

Chapell also has Mobile Ed courses on the same subject.

To preach contextually

I would repeat here Expositional Preaching and also point to a ministry of Helm’s, the Charles Simeon Trust. The Charles Simeon Trust (CST) trains men and women for biblical exposition, and one of their emphases is preaching with contextual awareness, namely the contexts of biblical theology and systematic theology—integrating both disciplines into expository preaching without flattening the meaning of a particular text.

You’ll find those same principles covered in Expositional Preaching, but you can delve deeper into them through the various offerings of the CST, including in-person workshops.

To examine yourself

Preaching and Preachers, 40th Anniversary Edition (D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones)

Lloyd-Jones is known as one of the greatest preachers of the last century, and reading this book is like having him as a preaching mentor. Its perfect 5-star rating on Amazon is no surprise to me.

Preaching & Preachers is a compilation of essays based on lectures he gave to seminary students in 1969. It is less about the nuts and bolts of preaching as it is the commitments and character of preachers. Lloyd-Jones has strong but well-grounded convictions that will sharpen every preacher to their core.

My ranking: 2nd

On Preaching: Personal & Pastoral Insights for the Preparation & Practice of Preaching (H.B. Charles Jr.)

I had the honor of editing this book and later hearing H.B. Charles preach at a church retreat, and he’s the real deal. What I love about these essays is the attention Charles gives to the heart of the preacher and the personal anecdotes that make it an engaging read. Full of personal and practical insights.

To preach to skeptics

Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism (Timothy Keller) — on sale this month

As is true with most of Keller’s works, there is an apologetic bent to this book that makes it stand out. I would call this required reading for any preacher, especially those preaching in more intellectual contexts.

My ranking: 3rd

Honorable mentions

These are books I’ve not read but that come highly recommended:

What are your favorites?

Please share your favorite book(s) in the comments below. As you can see from my list, most of my reading and training is in expository preaching, so I’m curious what’s out there for other approaches. (I would love to find a good book on the art of topical sermons.)

All Your Discount Options on Logos 8, Clearly Explained

It’s official: the Logos 8 launch discounts are ending February 7. Log in to see your savings. (And if you don’t know what all hullaballoo is about with Logos 8, watch this video.)

You could save up to 40% on Logos 8 if you buy before February 7, so here’s the lowdown on all your ways to save.

Sign in

To save yourself time, simply log in to see your savings. Then you can ignore this post.

Your discounts are automatically calculated based on what you already own, so sign in before you start shopping, and you’ll see your purchase price on every option.

But if you want the deets, here they are:

New to Logos: 10% off

If this is your first time buying a Logos base package, take 10% off whichever base package you choose. It’s that simple.

Explore base packages.

Upgrading to Logos 8: 25% off

For your very first Logos 8 Complete Upgrade, you get 25% off. So that applies if you’re upgrading from older versions of Logos to Logos 8 for the first time.

For subsequent additions (e.g., adding Logos 8 Gold Reformed on top of Logos 8 Gold Standard), take 10% off.

Sign in to see your recommended upgrade.

Academic discount: up to 40% off

Are you faculty, staff, or a student? You could save up to 40%.

There are a lot of ways your discounts could shake out, so the best way to see your discount is by logging in.

But here are a few routes your discount could take:

  • Faculty upgrade: 40% off all things Logos 8. (And if you’re also a Faithlife Connect Essentials subscriber, make that 45%)
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    • New Purchaser: 20% off
    • Subsequent Logos 8 purchases are 20% off
    • First-time upgrader: 25% off

Explore your academic discount. Note: these discounts will remain in effect indefinitely, even after the launch celebration, as they are part of the Logos Academic Discount program.

Faithlife Connect subscribers (pre-launch): up to 30% off

If you subscribed to Faithlife Connect Essentials or higher before 10/29, you could enjoy these discounts:

  • New Purchaser: 15% off Logos 8 Complete Upgrade
  • Upgrader:
    • First-time upgrade to Logos 8 Library or Complete Upgrade: 30% off
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Sign in to see your prices on Logos 8.

Next step

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And if while you’re shopping you want more help deciding what to get, see all your upgrade options clearly explained, take this quiz, or call our resource experts at 800-875-6467.

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5 Highlights in the New Eerdmans Theology & Biblical Studies Collection

Hang around seminary libraries long enough and you’ll start to recognize certain publishers.

And you’ll start to reach for their books more and more.

Eerdmans is one of those. They were a consistent publisher in my bibliographies all throughout Bible school and seminary, so much that I had the publishing city memorized (Grand Rapids). [Read more…]

Want to Change Your Congregation? Kill the Taskmaster.

The first legalist you must agitate is yourself.

At the start of the year, many of us are mindful of how we want this year to be different. Which means sooner or later we have to ask, “How do I change?”

I’ve been thinking about how the Bible answers that question and what it means for preaching. [Read more…]

3 Powerful Christmas Quotes from Spurgeon, Clairvaux, Leo the Great

In the book 300 Christmas Quotations and Prayers, editor Elliot Ritzema pulls from centuries of Christian writing to offer timeless yet fresh reflections on Advent and Christmas.

Here are three quotes I particularly enjoyed. You can get the whole book free right now with a trial to Faithlife Connect (by using a coupon codes you’ll receive with your trial). [Read more…]

3 Simple Reasons Now’s the Time to Get Logos 8

If you buy or upgrade to Logos 8 by December 31, you stack multiple offers on top of each other for a truly great deal:

  • Get 5 free workflows
  • Get a free copy of Logos 7 Fundamentals to give away
  • Take an extra $100 off Logos 8 (first-time base package purchases only)

[Read more…]

Get December’s Free Book: No One Like Him

This month only, scoop up John Feinberg’s No One Like Him free.

John S. Feinberg is a professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he also serves as a department chair. He is the author of several books, including Ethics for a Brave New World (with Paul D. Feinberg) and The Many Faces of Evil, and is general editor of the Foundations of Evangelical Theology series.
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Is Logos for Everyone? Here’s One Simple Reason It Is

Logos can perform some technical Bible study tasks, like morphology queries and syntax searches. That’s why a lot of pastors and scholars use it.

But if you don’t know what morphology is, is Logos beyond you?

Not at all. [Read more…]

Talk to Us: Take the Logos Talk Survey

Update: the survey is currently closed because we received the number of responses we were seeking. But your feedback still matters to us. Please use the comment section to tell us any of the following:

  • What you like about the blog
  • What you’d like to see more of
  • What areas of biblical/theological stories you are most interested in

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I Already Have Logos. Is Upgrading Just Buying It Again?

If you’ve invested in previous versions of Logos, you may look at Logos 8 and think, “Why would I pay for something I already have?”

The short answer is, you wouldn’t. And you won’t.

This post is about Dynamic Pricing, and why it means:

  1. You never pay for Logos features and resources you already own
  2. Upgrading to Logos 8 will cost less than you may think

[Read more…]