Preach For a Year

Roger Campbell, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1988, 224 pages, $9.95, paper.

Reviewed by John L. Casteel, professor of practical theology, retired, Union Theological Seminary, New York.

This volume offers 104 brief sermon outlines (two for each week) grouped ac cording to seasons and topics. Each out line has an introduction, body, and conclusion, but the divisions appear arbitrary. The pattern of outlines does not make use of recent developments in homiletical theory or the current emphasis on "telling our story."

Biblical texts and illustrations are scattered randomly throughout the outlines in a way that exhibits more biblicism than responsible use of the material.

A compilation such as this can be helpful to the preacher as a means of "priming the pump" or suggesting development of a sermon. It can say "here is something to begin with" or "here is a possible way of dealing with this text." But used in entirety, or depended upon regularly, it can destroy a preaching ministry. Phillips Brooks called a sermon "truth through personality." It must be the preacher's witness to the truth modest, or even poor, as the sermon may be. No one can fulfill the calling for him or her. The preacher who is too busy to make the sermon a personal witness to the gospel is too busy.

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Reviewed by John L. Casteel, professor of practical theology, retired, Union Theological Seminary, New York.

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