Reformed Preaching: Proclaiming God's Word from the Heart of the Preacher to the Heart of His People

By Joel R. Beeke, Foreword by Sinclair B. Ferguson

Reformed Preaching

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Reformed Preaching: Proclaiming God's Word from the Heart of the Preacher to the Heart of His People

By Joel R. Beeke, Foreword by Sinclair B. Ferguson

Preaching today all too often tragically misses the point. 

We’ve all heard sermons that sound more like a lecture, filling the head but not the heart. And we’ve all heard sermons tailored to produce an emotional experience, filling the heart but not the head. But biblical preaching both informs minds and engages hearts—giving it the power to transform lives. By the Spirit’s grace, biblical preaching brings truth home from the heart of the preacher to the heart of the hearer.

Joel Beeke—a pastor and professor of preaching with over four decades of experience—explores the fundamental principles of Reformed experiential preaching, examining sermons by preachers from the past and bridging the historical gap by showing pastors what the preaching of God’s life-transforming truth looks like today.


Author:

Joel R. Beeke (PhD, Westminster Theological Seminary) has written over one hundred books. He is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, a pastor of the Heritage Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as well as the editor of Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, the editorial director of Reformation Heritage Books, the president of Inheritance Publishers, and vice president of the Dutch Reformed Translation Society.


Endorsements:

“Heart to heart: this is the preaching that ‘cuts us to the quick’ and applies the balm of Gilead. And it is marvelously modeled in this book. Having appreciated every sermon I’ve heard from Joel Beeke, I am sure that you will discern a refreshing connection between doctrine, experience, and life in his writing.”
Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California; Host, White Horse Inn; author, Core Christianity

Reformed Preaching is unique for its emphasis on learning to preach experientially from the Reformers and their theological successors through the centuries. Joel Beeke convincingly shows that Reformed preaching is doctrinally sound, profoundly personal, and effectively practical. Far from being a contemporary model, this work presents the preaching of the Reformation, which encompasses head, heart, and hands, as the enduring way to proclaim Scripture. This is a very foundational understanding of the Reformation impact on the history of the church.”
John MacArthur, Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California; President, The Master’s Seminary; Chancellor, The Master’s University

“Faithful preaching is intimately bound up with the heartbeat of faithful Christian living. The proof of this is seen throughout the history of the church. Wills, affections, lives, churches, and entire communities have been transformed when the proclamation of God’s Word has reached beyond the mind to the heart. This was true during the Protestant Reformation, was repeated under the influence of the Puritans, and has been witnessed during times of revival. Joel Beeke mines the theology and practice of the great preacher-pastor-theologians of the past in a way that is guaranteed to bless and equip those who carry the baton for the generation they serve in the present and beyond.”
Mark G. Johnston, Minister, Bethel Presbyterian Church, Cardiff, United Kingdom

“The ethos of this soul-satisfying book on preaching is not ‘fast forward to the new and fanciful’ but ‘turn your affections back to the solid theological foundations of the past.’ Too much modern-day preaching aims to attract the undiscerning hearer with exciting and flossy novelties. But godly church members hunger and thirst not for shallow novelty, but for real, solid, biblical preaching and genuine food for the soul. The author’s message is to open out the excellencies of the model preachers of the past—from Luther and Calvin to the great Puritans and right down to the beloved Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who died in 1981. Here is a book ideally suited to the reader who longs for solid preaching in the pulpit for his soul. For this reason, this is also an ideal book to place in the hands of the serious student for the ministry.”
Maurice Roberts, Former Editor, The Banner of Truth magazine; author, The Thought of God and The Mysteries of God

“A preacher who does not practice what he preaches is a hypocrite; a preacher who does not preach what he himself has practiced is a mere theorist. A good preacher gives to others the overflow of what he himself has taken in from God’s Word. Effective preaching is from heart to heart, as suggested by the subtitle of Joel Beeke’s Reformed Preaching. Preaching is more than simply a verbal book report; it is a God-ordained means of bringing God’s truth to bear on the hearts and in the experience of the hearers. Beeke effectively underscores this powerful function of preaching both with models from past preachers and clear instructions for modern preachers. Beeke’s passion for experiential preaching is obvious, exposing his heart to ours.”
Michael P. V. Barrett, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary; author, Complete in Him and Love Divine and Unfailing

“Reformed preaching is simply ordinary preaching. Sermons that are faithful in their exposition and application to the hearers, rich in gospel content, Christ-centered in focus, and earnestly evangelistic in their calls to sinners to repent and entrust themselves to Jesus Christ—this is Reformed preaching. It is not long sermons and heavy preaching. It is the pulpit’s pastoral and reviving ministry to the body of Christ, most frequently on the Lord’s Day, generally to the assembly of the faithful, but mighty in addressing the world. It is delivering compassionate and heart-warming sermons, sometimes profoundly solemn sermons. It is, most of all, interesting, gripping preaching and life-changing pulpit fare; and once it has been heard, nothing else will ever satisfy an awakened soul that hungers for the living God. It is the believer’s weekly feast. How does one preach like that? Read this book for starters. You will be enlightened and motivated, and you will especially become prayerful, longing for the spread of this kind of ministry throughout the whole world.”
Geoffrey Thomas, Former Pastor, Alfred Place Baptist Church, Aberystwyth, Wales

Reformed Preaching is grand, sweeping, and engaging. It is at once substantive theology, a church-historical survey, and a book of practical divinity on experiential, Reformed preaching. No one has written anything quite like it. Subtitled Proclaiming God’s Word from the Heart of the Preacher to the Heart of His People, Beeke’s book breathes the air of its theme. This book is excellent in every way; it is all doctrine and all application. Reformed Preaching challenges the church with the indispensable necessity of preaching that is biblical, doctrinal, and experiential, preaching that leads God’s people to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34:8). While Beeke addresses ministers and hearers of the preached Word alike, as a gospel preacher, I found myself worshiping the triune God on every page and humbled in the dust with gratitude for the privilege of proclaiming God’s truth. This is a book to be read over and over again. I pray that this volume will be widely and extensively read. I pray as well that Reformed Preaching may be a spark to revive the old Reformed commitment to experiential preaching in a new day.”
David B. McWilliams, Senior Minister, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Lakeland, Florida

“It is said that ‘a sermon is as good as a sermon does.’ Joel Beeke’s book will greatly help God’s servants minister the Word to this end: to the head, heart, and life. Here he scripturally defines Reformed and experimental preaching, surveys its foremost exponents from church history, and searchingly persuades us of the need for this kind of preaching today. Reading this, no preacher can fail to be challenged—but also encouraged and helped—to preach this way more than ever before. With the Lord’s blessing, this book will do untold good for ministers and churches everywhere. This is a much-needed and unique volume. I wholeheartedly commend it to ministerial students as required reading, and to all of us who proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ.”
John Thackway, Pastor, Holywell Evangelical Church, North Wales; Editor, Bible League Quarterly

“As an able teacher and exemplary model of the best in pulpit ministry, Joel Beeke has much to say about the subject of preaching. In this book, we sit at his feet and learn what real biblical exposition is from this gifted expositor. If there was ever a season when the church needed to read this book, the time is now.”
Steven J. Lawson, President, OnePassion Ministries

“True Christian experience is always the experience that God and his Word are true. That truth is preeminently proclaimed through Spirit-anointed preaching. Reformed Preaching shows why preaching is a key of God’s kingdom. This helpful survey of the history of a few dozen of the Reformed church’s great preachers, from Ulrich Zwingli to Martyn Lloyd-Jones, illustrates how experiential preaching is used by the Holy Spirit to cause needy sinners to experience the vital truth of the gospel.”
Henk van den Belt, Special Chair in Reformed Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Groningen, The Netherlands

“It has been one of the great privileges of my life to teach homiletics alongside Joel Beeke at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary for the past ten years. I’ve not only witnessed his expertise and passion for the subject, but I’ve also seen and felt the ministry-transforming effects of this upon my own preaching, as well as upon hundreds of students from all over the world. It’s a joyful answer to prayer to see his lectures now in print for the benefit of thousands more preachers of the gospel.”
David Murray, Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary; author, Jesus on Every Page; Reset; and Exploring the Bible

“I have yet to come across a preaching resource so helpful, poignant, biblical, and even devotional as Joel Beeke’s Reformed Preaching. The breadth and depth of historical weight and confessional integrity make this book a superb volume for any pastor, teacher, or layperson. I will certainly be using this in both my preaching classes and pulpit preparation!”
Brian Cosby, Senior Pastor, Wayside Presbyterian Church, Signal Mountain, Tennessee; Visiting Professor, Reformed Theological Seminary, Atlanta

“I am very pleased to endorse this book by Joel Beeke because it is an invaluable contribution to Reformed preaching. While some in the Reformed community tend to associate experiential preaching with pietism and mysticism, Beeke shows that generations of Spirit-anointed Reformed preachers have employed the biblical experiential method. Beeke’s book represents the culmination of what has been on the author’s mind for many years, namely, to come to a clear biblical understanding on what the gospel is and by whom, to whom, and especially how it is to be preached.

This latest homiletical contribution by Beeke deserves to be read by all seminary professors, theological students, pastors, and all who are hungry for the true Bread of Life. ‘The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord! May your hearts live forever’ (Ps. 22:26).”
Cornelis (Neil) Pronk, Emeritus Pastor, Free Reformed Churches of North America

“If ‘Reformed experiential preaching’ sounds dull or dry, or just difficult, then you ought to read this book. As a true instructor, writing with real warmth and insight, Joel Beeke opens up enduring principles, spans the centuries to survey practitioners and identify patterns, and then earnestly urges us to the lively practice of such preaching. He carries us from the lecture room to the training ground and then sends us out into the field, humbled and yet hopeful, to preach from our hearts to the hearts of others.”
Jeremy Walker, Pastor, Maidenbower Baptist Church, Crawley, United Kingdom; author, Life in Christ; Anchored in Grace; and A Face Like a Flint

“Having known Joel Beeke for nearly fifty years, both as a personal friend and as a fellow minister of the gospel, I can unhesitatingly affirm that Reformed preaching has been, and continues to be, the passion of his ministry. Frequently I have had the privilege of hearing him preach from his heart to the hearts of his audience, preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ to poor, needy, and guilty sinners in need of precisely such a Savior. I am therefore delighted that in Reformed Preaching he is passing on to the next generation of preachers what it means to preach Christ scripturally, doctrinally, and experientially, and how to effectively aim such preaching at the hearts of those who hear them—doing so in complete dependence upon the Spirit of Christ for explication and application. May many younger (and older!) ministers of the gospel benefit richly from the ripe fruit of Beeke’s lifelong commitment to experiential preaching.”
Bartel Elshout, Pastor, Heritage Reformed Congregation, Hull, Iowa; translator, The Christian’s Reasonable Service and The Christian’s Only Comfort in Life and Death

“In this latest book, Joel Beeke warmly welcomes us into his pulpit, his study, and even the place of his private prayers. To accept his invitation is to discover what it means for a sermon to offer both light and heat, and to learn how to preach the gospel as food for the hungry rather than as dessert for the deserving. In Reformed Preaching, Beeke introduces favorite figures from church history to form a composite picture of the experiential expositor. Even experienced expositors will find much to learn in this book from both the author and his friends.”
Chad Van Dixhoorn, Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary


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Table of Contents:

Foreword by Sinclair B. Ferguson
Preface and Acknowledgments

 

Part One: Reformed Experiential Preaching Defined and Described

  1. What Is Reformed Experiential Preaching?

  2. Preaching from Head to Heart

  3. Major Elements of Reformed Experiential Preaching

  4. The Experiential Preacher

Part Two: Reformed Experiential Preaching Illustrated

  1. Reformation Preachers: Zwingli, Bullinger, and Oecolampadius

  2. Reformation Preachers: Calvin

  3. Reformation Preachers: Beza

  4. Introduction to Puritan Preaching

  5. Puritan Preachers: Perkins

  6. Puritan Preachers: Rogers, Sibbes, and Preston

  7. The Westminster Directory and Preaching

  8. Puritan Preachers: Goodwin and Shepard

  9. Puritan Preachers: Bunyan

  10. Introduction to the Dutch Further Reformation

  11. Dutch Preachers: Teellinck, van Lodenstein, and à Brakel

  12. Dutch Reformed Preaching in America: Frelinghuysen

  13. Eighteenth-Century Preachers: Halyburton, Edwards, and Davies

  14. Nineteenth-Century Preachers: Alexander, M`Cheyne, and Ryle

  15. Twentieth-Century Preachers: Wisse and Lloyd-Jones

Part Three: Preaching Experientially Today

  1. Preaching with Balance

  2. Application Starts with the Preacher

  3. Effective Preaching about God and Man

  4. Preaching the Gospel to the Heart

  5. Preaching for Holiness

Bibliography
General Index
Scripture Index


Specifications:

Category: Theology
Format: Hardcover w/ Jacket
Page Count: 512
ISBN-10: 1-4335-5927-7
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-5927-3
Size: 6.0 in x 9.0 in
Weight: 28.15 ounces
Published: October 31, 2018