Book Review: Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism by Tim Keller (320 pages)


Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism

Pastor Tim Keller has been preaching gospel-centered, Jesus-saturated for many years at Redeemer in New York City.  His sermon style and approach engages the increasingly secular New Yorker by helping people understand themselves, showing them the life transforming power of the gospel, and demonstrating how the Bible intersects and applies in their lives.

The book is divided into three parts.  In part one, Keller instructs the reader about the priority and purpose of preaching – to know the Word, to bring the gospel to bear in every sermon, and to show forth Christ throughout the whole Bible. In part two, Keller turns his attention to the audience of our sermons – how to preach Christ in today’s late modern (postmodern) mind, and how to reach people’s hearts as well as their minds. In part three, Keller helps the reader understand that the ultimate work of God in any sermon is powered by the Spirit of God.  Yes, we need to do our work as preachers and teachers, but ultimately we need to come before God begging Him to do what only He can do- transform people’s lives.  Finally, while Keller did not set out to make this a ‘how to’ manual for preachers, he helpfully adds a ‘how to’ appendix to the book that would be worth the time of any preacher to read, especially those new to preaching.

I have read many books on preaching, and make it my aim to continually improve in this craft.  Along the way only a few books have stuck out as ‘must haves’ and ‘re-reads’, this is one of those books.  I would highly encourage pastors and teachers, and anyone who would like to better communicate the truth of God’s Word and the power of the gospel in our culture and even to ourselves to read this book.