I picked this book up a while ago and recently got around to reading it. The subheading is: “With illustrations from the sermons of Thomas Watson”. The book was so good that instead of reading it in my customary speedy fashion, I forced myself to read a chapter and then slowly digest it over a couple of days. Hence the length of time it has taken me to read it!
For those of you not in the know, Thomas Watson was one of the great Puritan preachers and was famed for being something of a wordsmith in the pulpit. Eight chapters long (and an extensive appendix) it is choc-full of helpful wisdom and insight for any budding and/or experienced preacher. I challenge any serious Christian not to be blessed by the Godly insights of the contents of this book. Consider this as an example:
“. . . the preacher’s first duty is to be sure that the Word he is to proclaim is with God, and is drawn from the heart of Deity; and his second duty is to see that the Word becomes flesh and dwells amongst us.”
He goes on to challenge us as preachers that our “effectiveness as a herald is not determined by your ability to know what you are saying, but your ability to get the people to whom you are preaching to know and understand what you are saying.” There are just countless nuggets like this peppered throughout the book which should cause us to pause and give careful thought to how we are communicating God’s Holy Word to those whom he has entrusted into our care. It is not very often that I would 100% recommend a book, but this is one of those rare occasions. I suggest you go out and buy it right now if you are preaching and considering entering into teaching ministry of any sort. This will absolutely improve your preaching and help you to be more understandable to your congregation.
Let me leave you with some words from the great man himself regarding preaching: “St. Paul’s preaching was not with enticing words of wisdom but in the demonstration of the Spirit and power (1 Cor. 2:4). Plainness is ever best in beating down sin. When a wound festers, it is fitter to lance it than to embroider it with silk or lay vermilion upon it.”
Five stars for this bad boy!