B&H Academic has published two books on the subject of preaching that have been released virtually simultaneously. Engaging Exposition was reviewed in our last post. It’s an excellent text for aspiring preachers. Now we will tackle volume #2 on the subject of preaching: The Christ-Centered Expositor: A Field Guide for Word-Driven Disciple Makers. (Apparently hyphenated words are important for book titles.) This volume is written by Tony Merida, pastor and preaching professor. Once again it is with some trepidation that a preacher reviews a book on preaching written by a preaching professor. Merida teaches at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
The Christ-Centered Expositor is divided into two “Parts.” They can be summed up as the “Who” and the “How.” The order of the two parts is significant. It is vital that a preacher understands his task before he undertakes his task. Merida is excellent in presenting this significance.
Merida begins where Engaging Exposition left off – encouraging and challenging the spiritual life and outward testimony of the preacher. That’s “Part 1: The Expositor’s Heart.” His tone is one of inspiration emphasizing a love of the Scriptures and prayer. Virtually every chapter in this part contains a list of some sort.
“Part 2: The Expositor’s Message” is the how-to portion of the book. Merida is meticulous in his presentation of how an expository message should be developed from the moment the preacher decides on the text to the final delivery of the message. If one is learning the art of preaching, these 110 pages are worth serious and thoughtful study. Lists, charts and preaching projects are in abundance. That is not an objection or condemnation, but rather an attestation to the great value of this section.
There are questions at the end of every chapter which is a dead giveaway that this volume is to be used as a textbook – and it should be. It’s value as a textbook is also found in an eleven page bibliography which obviously includes a host of preaching volumes.
I would expect that The Christ-Centered Expositor will become a standard and required text in every Southern Baptist Seminary. For aspiring preachers it is must-read.
Disclaimer: This volume was provided to me by B&H Publishing Group for a fair and honest review.