Reformed Preaching: Proclaiming God’s Word from the Heart of the Preacher to the Heart of His People, by Joel R. Beeke, Wheaton: Crossway, 2018, 504 pages, $23.29, cloth.
If Reformed pastors enter the pulpit with a defective view of preaching, their efforts will fail. It’s not enough for us to study and prepare – our points may be logical, our attention to detail may be meticulous, and our precision unfolding the text may be exact – but all our labor is in vain if we don’t properly understand what a sermon is supposed to accomplish in the life of a congregation. When we are merely conveyers of information, our churches may grow in understanding of the scriptures, but they will not grow in holiness and in love for God and man.
Until the Lord’s return, experiential preachers will remain the church’s greatest need –preachers who inform not just the intellect, but who reach into the hearts of God’s people. It’s this kind of preaching to which Joel R. Beeke summons the Lord’s ministers in Reformed Preaching.
He approaches this experiential preaching with three main headings: definition and description of experiential preaching (part 1), historical examples of Reformed experiental preaching (part 2), and preaching experientially today (part 3).
“Reformed experiential preaching is preaching that applies the truth of God to the hearts of people to show how things ought out to go, do go, and ultimately will go in the Christian’s experience with respect to God and his neighbors – including his family members, his fellow church members and people in the world around him” (41). 19th century Anglican Charles Bridges puts the relationship between truth and experience well: “Christian experience is the influence of doctrinal truth upon the affections” (352).