Preaching as Reminding
Jeffery D. Arthurs
164 pp., softcover
What is the purpose of preaching? While we often consider that the task of the preacher is to challenge or to educate or to inspire the congregation, Jeffery Arthurs’ latest book challenges us to think of the purpose of Preaching as Reminding. This new book from Intervarsity Press is targeted as those who know how to preach but have, perhaps, let the task become a habit without life.
First, the structure of the book. Arthurs provides an introduction and conclusion around seven chapters of content. The Introduction sets up the need for the book and previews the upcoming content chapters. He also provides a timely warning of the difference in “remembering/reminding” and “nagging.” The seven chapters begin by examining the need to remember somethings and forget others, with robust Scriptural and historical references. The later chapters then address tools of the sermon for stirring memory.
Throughout each chapter, Arthurs’ uses a style that is plainly educational. His purpose is to teach, nay, remind preachers of why they are doing what they do. From there, he brings to remembrance the other areas we have learned and draws the connections between how we remember and how we can remind. Wisely, the text uses footnotes to point the reader to other trails and resources brought out by the author.
The book closes with a one-page conclusion and the inclusion of a hymn written by Arthurs. The index is divided between subjects and Scriptures, and the bibliography would make for a good shopping list for many a preacher in a bookstore.
As to his conclusion, Arthurs is quite right about the task of preaching as reminding. It is easy to exhaust ourselves in the pursuit of new and innovative ideas, and those have their place. Yet the faith we preach is the same faith that was once delivered to the nations—it is for the preacher to remind us of that truth.
A well-written, compact book that preachers should make time to read.