Booknote: “Theology Is for Preaching” edited by Charles R. Kuhn and Paul Grimmond


Theology Is for Preaching: Biblical Foundations, Method, & Practice, edited by Chase R. Kuhn and Paul Grimmond. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2021, 343 pages, $29.99, paper.

A pastor must be both theologian and preacher. In his mind, the union between them should be so strong that neither can be considered without the other. Theology and preaching are bound together like fuel and fire. Neglect theology and preaching becomes separated from the life-giving and life-sustaining truths of God’s Word. Neglect preaching and there is no proclamation of divine truth, the truth that kindles a love for God and faith in Jesus Christ.

That love of theology and preaching distinguishes the twenty-one essays in Theology Is for Preaching. Contributors demonstrate expertise in their fields and a firm grasp of the place expository preaching holds in the life of God’s church.

The editors, both lecturers at Moore Theological College in Sydney, are persuaded that “when we preach, we come to every text with a theology, and each text refines our theology as we carefully listen to the word” (xix). Therefore, faithful preachers pay attention to both biblical and systematic theology as well as adopting a preaching method that “will flow from theology” (xx–xxi).

Essays are arranged under five headings – Foundations, Methodology, Theology for Preaching, Preaching for Theology, and Theology Preached.

Part 1: Foundations

In the opening essay, “Theology for Preaching, Preaching for Theology,” Chase Kuhn makes the case that “preaching in its most biblically faithful form is deliberately theological” (1). The Reformation affirmation sola scriptura does not mean that interpreters approach a passage of Scripture as if it were a newly discovered island awaiting exploration, its terrain as yet to be mapped. Instead, there is a “nexus of recursion” between text and theology in which “theology informs our reading of Scripture, and our reading of Scripture continues to refine our theology” (10). Failure to study theology impoverishes preaching.

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