Communicating faith in an age of scepticismTimothy Keller
Hodder & Stoughton, 2015, £16.99 Hb 310pp, ISBN 9781444702170
Available as an ebook.
Reviewed by John Martin, CMF Head of Communications
Tim Keller continues to amaze with his prolific output. In his words this is 'a manifesto, not a manual'. Plenty of books detail preparing expository sermons; this is an apologia for a certain kind of preaching to engage minds and hearts shaped by the culture of our times.
The author pre-supposes the infallibility of the biblical text; expository preaching is its handmaiden. He insists, however, there is more to it than mere exegesis. Part of it is taking biblical context seriously, not just where words appear in the text, but where the text fits within the Bible as a whole. Thus expository preaching always points to Christ and his saving work; the hearer should always be left without doubt as to what is the meaning and efficacy of the gospel. The preacher must know how to speak into the prevailing culture and be able to bring the resources of the gospel to its questions and needs.
We tend to skip footnotes and appendices. Nearly a third of this volume is devoted to them. It is here that Keller offers some of his most useful resources for the budding preacher, not least his account of how he himself prepares.
It's worth buying the book for chapter five alone where Keller addresses the theme of how to preach to people whose worldview is shaped by relativistic and hedonistic late-modern culture.