Preaching is both a science and art; you can learn a number of techniques, but you must have a passionate calling to preach and declare Scripture.
Tony Merida’s book is one of those rare books that mixes up techniques and passion. The same title declares it: Responsibility, Passion and Authenticity. Three components that are developed in the very structure of the book itself, that is:
In part 1, called Faithful to the Triune God: Trinitarian convictions for expository preaching, Merida deals with the Passion that must guide every preacher: a man who preaches Christ from the inspired Scriptures, by the Power of the Spirit and for the glory of God.
In part 2, entitled Faithful to the Word of God: How busy pastors prepare Christ-exalting expository messages, and in part 3: Faithful to the call of God: watching our life and doctrine, the main topic is Responsibility, both the call one have received to preach and the continuous preparation of the preacher. You can also find here some aspects about the Authenticity of the preacher.
Part 4 deals with Faithful to the Mission of God: preaching the Gospel in our generation, and Authenticity and Responsibility as the main topics.
Alongside the book you will find a quite clear language: It seems logical that a trained preacher as Merida explains concepts in such a way not-trained-preachers can understand. Part 2 is specially relevant because he lays out a five-step process to prepare a sermon, introducing what he calls The Redemptive Theme. Basically, this concept is defined as the reflection of
“the primary theme of the selected text… based upon the main point of the text (M.P.T.) and the main point of the sermon (M.P.S.). In order to maintain the Christ-centered nature of the sermon, the expositor should look for the redemptive elements in the text and highlight these elements in the M.P.S.” (page 86)
This is crucial, as people call preaching the Word to a great number of anthropocentric messages and motivational discourses which do not contain the Biblical message of the cross of Christ.
I think this book deserves a place in every preacher’s library. In it you will find a call to godliness, to be a competent preacher who seeks the proclamation of the glory of God in every sermon. I heartfully recommend this book to those who are preparing for the task of preaching and to those who desire a tuning.
More information at http://www.bhpublishinggroup.com/products/faithful-preaching/ or your local dealer.
JM de Rus, September 2015