An Outline of Keller’s Book on Preaching


I’ve just finished Keller’s recent book on preaching – thoroughly enjoyable, insightful, and stimulating – a must read for any preacher in my opinion.

Here’s an outline that I typed up to whet your appetite

Prologue – What is good preaching

– preaching Christ
– preaching to the cultural heart
Chapters 1-2
– preach expository sermons and preach Christ
Chapter 3 – Preaching Christ
– preach Christ from every section
– preach Christ through every theme
– preach Christ through every figure
– preach Christ from every image
– preach Christ from every story of deliverance
– preach Christ through instinct
Chapter 4 – Preaching to the Culture
– Contextual communication
– accessible vocabulary
– cite respected authorities
– demonstrate understanding of doubts and objections
– affirm in order to challenge cultural narratives
– make gospel offers that push on the culture’s pressure points
– call for gospel motivation
Chapter 5 – Preaching and the Late Modern Mind
– Major cultural narratives
– rationality narrative – the natural world is the only reality; technology will provide the solutions to world problems
– history narrative – history is always making progress; the new is automatically better
– society narrative – the function of society is to preserve individual freedom
– morality narrative – we determine our own norms
– identity narrative – identity is discovered by looking within and ‘being ourselves’
– Engaging the narratives
Chapter 6 – Preaching to the Heart
– affectionately
– imaginatively
– wondrously
– memorably
– Christocentrically
– Practically
– Diversify your conversation partners
– Diversify whom you picture as you prepare
– weave application throughout the sermon
– use variety
– be emotionally aware – the ‘pliable moment’
Chapter 7 – Preaching and the Spirit
– combine warmth and force
– potential subtexts (first two bad; third inadequate; fourth the goal)
     – ‘aren’t we great’
     – ‘aren’t I great’
     – ‘isn’t this truth great’
     – ‘isn’t Christ great’
– Spirit-empowered preaching from the heart
     – powerful, wondrous, affectionate, authentic, Christ-adoring

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