If you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, whats hould you judge it by? Well for me, one of the great tests is how many passages have I highlighted, how many quotes underlined, how many notes scribbled in the margin? On the basis of those criteria, this book rates very highly and so it should.
Mike Abendroth is responding to a real ‘gap in the market’, addressing an aspect of preaching that is sadly neglected. He says that in the 842 chapters of the 66 evangelical books of preaching in his library, only 4 chapters deal with anything related to ‘Jesus the preacher’. I suspect that I would find a similar proportion among my books, though I take it that Abendroth hasn’t got Stuart Olyott’s Preaching Like the Master’ in his collection, since that would significantly increase the statistics.
Abendroth focusses on eight features of Jesus’ public ministry, and each chapter has a very helpful and practical series of applications, firstly for preachers, elders, leaders and Bible teachers and then secondly for laypeople and congregations.
1. Jesus viewed preaching as preeminent
2. Jesus preached with a high view of Scripture
3. Jesus preached Christ, and him crucified
4. Jesus preached doctrine
5. Jesus preached as a herald
6. Jesus preached discipleship
7. Jesus preached for a verdict
8. Jesus was an expository preacher
I like a preacher/writer who doesn’t mince his words and tells you exctly what he thinks. Abendroth does just that. His book is warm, passionate, thoroughly biblical and strewn with examples of detailed exegesis of crucial words that strengthen his case. For Abendroth – and for all of us – the important question is not WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) but HDJP (How Did Jesus Preach?)