I am grateful to see the availability of Jason Meyer’s, Preaching: A Biblical Theology (Crossway, 2013). As a book written by the one called and entrusted to step into the pulpit of the faithful legacy that belongs to Bethlehem Baptist Church, and as a text that focuses on the stewardship of preaching, this work seems very promising. I hope to improve my own preaching through repeated reading of this text, and through its use in teaching homiletics courses and assisting in the training of the associate ministers at my own church. You can see a preview of the book here.
In commending a work of this type, I feel it is necessary to address the issue of cultural relevance. By “cultural relevance,” I am not, here, referring to Meyer’s ideas on application. Instead, I am speaking of the fact that a book written by a non-African American pastor, and that focuses more on the responsibility and nature of heralding the very words of God than on delivery style, is relevant to men who largely preach to homogenous, African-American congregations. As Meyer discusses thoroughly in his book, a recovery (my term) of the concept of the preacher holding a stewardship – in which proclaiming the very words of the Most High must foster an encounter with God for the people of God – is needed in Christ’s church. A conscious knowledge of this stewardship will bring us to our pulpits in much more fear of the Lord than what often is expressed in contemporary pulpits. There is a holy gravity that comes to the task and the text with a cognizant stewardship. Bringing more of that fear to the sacred desk would be helpful to the causes of building the Lord’s church and the salvation of souls in the African American community, and not just in Jason Meyer’s ethnic community. So I hope you will grab and prioritize this book, regardless of the relationship of your race, ethnicity, or color to that of the author.
In the Lord’s sovereign grace, I currently serve in a homogenous assembly within the Afro-Baptist tradition. The congregation kindly receives my preaching without any complaint that my preaching is not colorful enough for them, even though it is less colorful than our pastor’s preaching and many others’ who fill our pulpit. Having heard the preaching of a faithful pastor-exegete for 24+ years, they share a concern those serving our pulpit will reveal the Biblical author’s central idea – God’s voice – from every text. I am grateful for my church family, for the rhetoric and style that is part of the rich history of Black preaching, and for works like Meyer’s Preaching that help preachers wed the text of Scripture to the tradition of the church.
Preaching: A Biblical Theology, by Jason Meyer. Crossway, 2013. Retail: $17.01. Paper