Topical Preaching in a Complex World
This is an excellent book that all preachers (& aspiring preachers) need to read!
It get beyonds the unhelpful and simplistic cheap shots thrown by proponents of expository and topical preaching. The issue is one of faithfulness to scripture and not structure. Malcolm and Sam get above the fray. They argue well for topical preaching without diminishing the significant place of expository preaching. They navigate this discussion in a way that shows that both topical and expository preaching are complementary tools that both need a place in the preachers 'kit bag.'
Although the book is on topical preaching generally, it is full of gold on the art of preaching full stop. The skilful use of illustrations and examples throughout make the book very enjoyable to read and show that Malcolm & Sam have the runs on the board to write a book like this. It is also deeply pastoral and shows that these guys know the challenges that those in ministry face. By the end of the book I had practical things 'to do' not just more ideas to explore. This is exactly what time poor pastors need!
Absolutely loved this book. Hands down one of the best five books that I have ever read on preaching. Some individual chapters alone were worth the price of the book.
Both Sam and Malcolm studied and / or taught expository preaching and so are huge advocates of that method. However, they have also worked extremely hard at developing an approach to topical preaching which respects the biblical text, has cultural intelligence, and applies both biblical and systematic theology in a simple and straight-forward manner.
Both have firsthand experience in preaching to audiences of a non-western mindset. Sam is Chinese-Australian and part of a Chinese church. Malcolm is married to a South American. Both regularly preach cross-culturally and so the book is full of illustrations and observations of how they have applied these principles to cross cultural preaching.
For those who favour expository preaching this book dovetails nicely with stuff which you may or may not (but should be) doing already - namely, how biblical theology (i.e., creation, fall, redemption, consummation) categories shape the way we should be teaching / applying a particular topic or ethic. Because of this, they demonstrate the multiple ways in which we should be able to move from any topic to that of Jesus and the gospel. (Loved this!)
Lastly, I'd say that this is possibly the easiest and most enjoyable book I've ever read on preaching. It's simple, readable, enjoyable, and hard to put down. I actually enjoyed reading it (loved the illustrations and additional side notes / observations) - unlike other books which often feel like a slog to get through.