Pastor Chad's Itinarary

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea For Preaching"

A critical book review on Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea For Preaching. I have lately decided to return to pursue my theological education at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I decided to take a writing class in order to prepare me for future classes. One of my assignments were to write a critical review on a book of my own choosing. So, I decided to write a review on the book which was given to me by a dear friend. My friend has a love for pastors and he has a desire for shepherds to "feed the sheep" the word of God. I am thankful for the book and I believe it should a book on all pastors shelves to be read often. Let me know what you think!

Mohler, R. Albert, and Don Kistler. Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching.   Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust, 2008.156 pp. $12.03.

         Feed My Sheep conveys the need for Christ-centered, expository, Bible saturated, and God honoring preaching. The book’s contributors focus upon the need for pastors to stay the course when it comes to preaching the Word of God, because many pastors today have fallen victim to the notion that the Word of God is not enough. Feed My Sheep reminds the preacher, God’s Word is enough. All that needs to be done is to be faithful in proclaiming His Word. Throughout the book, the main thought behind each chapter is the simplicity of preaching God’s Word.
         Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching is a collection from eleven different contributors. All eleven editors have sufficient training, expertise, and credibility on the subject of preaching. The credentials of the writers range from earned Ph.D.’s to over 40 years in the pastoral ministry in the same local church. The writers are serving, or have served, as a minister of the gospel in the local church, which enhances each author’s knowledge on the subject of biblical preaching.
         Each contributor to the book gives insights into specific aspects of the preaching of God’s Word. Whether it is the “foolishness of preaching” by Boice, or “the preacher who teaches” by Sproul or “preaching to a suffering people” by John Piper, these men help show the need for biblical preaching in our pulpits today. The chapters of the book seem simple, yet they are much needed in our day of weak and shallow pulpits.
         The chapter serves as an examination for different aspects to biblical preaching, from Albert Mohler’s argument on the primacy of preaching, to Piper’s heart felt passion for preaching to suffering people. Throughout the book, there is instruction and application for pastors to preach the word of God.
         Boice, reminds one that “God uses the foolishness of preaching to save the lost, and this foolishness should never be forsaken (19-34).” MacArthur reminds pastors that God often uses the least of men, to bring about His glory. Knowing God uses the “weak of the vessels to confound the wise” when it comes to preaching, brings about great humility before the Lord. These two chapters although one is in the front of the book and the other in the back seem to compliment one each other, nicely. A person must understand how it is God uses preaching the word, but also must remain humble as the preacher himself.
         In Derek Thomas’s chapter he writes on the subject of “expository preaching.” This particular chapter is very helpful in many ways. Thomas contends, in today’s church age, expository preaching is all but a lost art. Secondly, he reminds preachers to stick with the Word of God when it comes to preaching. Thirdly, he suggests that expository preaching gives the congregation a healthy diet of God’s Word. Although, I agree with Thomas’s suggestions for expository preaching, one must take in account that few congregations understand the point and reasoning in preaching such a way. Perhaps, Thomas should had written a premise on how one should go about teaching a congregation the necessity of expository preaching.      
          Feed My Sheep, offers insight that most books on preaching will not offer. After I read and reviewed the book, I was left to wonder, “how can I apply these thoughts practically?” I believe the book perhaps failed in the sense of practicality for the struggling pastor. Not all churches will endure such a pastor that will hold to, “the primacy of God’s word or will accept expository preaching.” The reality is, some things written in this book could cause a lot of suffering for the preacher. Perhaps, there should have been a chapter on the endurance of the pastor. A pastor might read a book like this one and split their church. I believe another chapter for the book that would be helpful would be, “how to encourage the pastor to be patient, love the people, and preach the word.”
         Overall, the book accomplishes its goal, which is to keep God’s man (the pastor) focused upon the preaching of God’s Word. As a pastor who is often tempted to seek another way to preach, I found the book useful. I am often tempted to wonder, “will this continue to work, just preaching the Word?” A quick look at the title of the book reminds pastors of our need to be faithful shepherds feeding God’s sheep a steady diet of His Word. I recommend this book (although with caution), because of its rich content and practical insights for pastors struggling with the temptation to try something else, rather than just preaching the Word!