Monday, March 14, 2011
The Foolishness of Preaching - Review
It is odd that men are called to preach sermons, isn't it? Fallible preaching by fallible men is a dangerous affair. As Christians we hold the Bible to be infallible, our final authority for faith and life. God has used men to preach the perfect Word of God, to put into words what Scripture means. The foolishness of preaching is almost comical when viewed that way.
Capon is a writer who I love to read, partly because I disagree with him so much. His theology is wacky, his methods are unconventional, and his wit is too sharp at times. On the other hand, he is challenging in many ways and he is an amazing writer. I always come away from reading Capon having learned much more than when I read an author I already know I agree with.
If you are in the position where you have to preach a sermon in a couple of months, you could do a lot worse than this book. In the second section Capon specifically addresses preachers and gives some great advice for those who want to learn the real work of preaching sermons. His timetable and schedule is realistic, spiritually challenging, and thoughtful.
As good as the second section is for preachers, the first section (The Bedrock of Preaching) is more applicable for all believers. Capon's first chapter is his take on gospel presentation. This is something that I have reflected on many times since the first read, and will probably do so for years. This first chapter alone is worth the price of the book and will certainly provoke a lot of thought.
One of the many quotes I really like from the book, "Topical sermons are like topical anesthetics: they don't go deep." (63)
Capon also offers some great writing advice on page 131. It's a small addition to the book, but some of the best advice on writing that I have read.
This is not Capon's best, but there is plenty to glean from this work whether you are a preacher or not. Get this book after you have read, and liked, some of his other works like The Romance of the Word.