Account Login

Sign In  |  Register
You are here: Home  > Reviews | Preaching the Word

Reviews | Preaching the Word

Preaching the Word

Alfred Norris

Paperback or e-book (ePub)

164 pages

Preaching the Word

The Christadelphian review (from December 1945)

Preaching the Word

IN the true spirit of Jesus the A.L.S. has conceived the bold and noble project of preaching the Truth in every town and village, indeed in every house, of Great Britain. This is an enterprise which will surely win God’s approval and blessing. But the A.L.S. is only an auxiliary organization; its project will remain an empty dream to rebuke our sloth unless a volunteer army comes forward to take the weapons the A.L.S. and the Christadelphian Publishing Office are anxious to put in their hands. In this army there will be no division between front-line troops and supporting units; true, we shall need picked brethren for platform work, but we shall all be preaching whenever and wherever we speak the Word, whether it be to men and women on their door-steps, to workmates, to neighbours over the garden fences, or interested strangers at the back of lecture-halls. There must be large numbers of recruits ready to rally to the colours but diffident, perhaps, of their powers and doubtful of the adequacy of their experience. They probably feel the need for a book setting out the strategy and principles of their warfare. Such a work has now appeared and to those unacquainted with its existence or its contents we would commend Preaching the Word by bro. A.D. Norris. Written at the instigation of the A.L.S. and published by The Christadelphian Office, here is a book certain to stimulate thought and discussion. The author has drawn from a pool of ideas to which many brethren have made their anonymous contribution, but the sorting of the ideas, their marshalling and their final form are all the author’s own.

It is a book for all to read, for we must all be interested in preaching the Word; to those who read honestly the book will bring not merely profit and pleasure but real heart-searching, and we will do well not to avoid the issues because of their inconvenient character. If there should be some disposed to question the need for the work, they might profitably reflect upon the volume of discussion which usually follows one of our lectures; the discussion may give rise to pentrating criticism, too often never heard by the offending speaker. In Preaching the Word we will find a candid and penetrating examination of the basic principles of our public testimony.

The book is essentially practical; here is writing which has behind it a background of personal experience, writing, too, which is vital and without a dull moment. The style is lively, the language concise and vivid, enlivened at times by a keen but restrained wit.

First, and rightly so, comes a consideration of the spirit of the preacher, and then of his message. There is repeated insistence upon acquaintance with the Word and being permeated with its spirit. We are God’s spokesmen, the channel of His revelation, and we must labour to remove any obstacle or impediment which our human nature may present to the free passage of that revelation. Our lives must bear their testimony to the vital truth and compelling beauty of the message which we bear. There must be a unity about our preaching; the consideration of any single doctrine must always serve our central object, the salvation of men. We must be sure of our ground and know it well; we must be convinced of the strength and adequacy of our arguments. We must feel deeply, or our preaching will be sterile: “To speak acceptably with feeling, we must really feel.” There should be no stale and hackneyed thought, our message must be our own and carry some part of ourselves. We must have living contact with the men to whom we speak and understand the world in which they live. We are warned against random excursions into the specialized domain of the scientist. No lecture should be purely negative; our preaching must be positive. All public testimony must be thoroughly prepared, and as a guide to planning some model lectures are given in outline. Here in a rapid review are but some of the main ideas.

The scope of the book is comprehensive but not exhaustive; there are valuable hints for presidents, open-air speakers, and canvassers. Some controversial issues are discussed: what outside literature shall we read? where shall we preach? The author is conscious of differences of opinion and writes in no pontifical spirit; we would suggest that his own conclusions deserve careful and unbiassed consideration. The frost of custom can too easily benumb our faculties. We are the servants of the Word, and must follow its bidding wherever it may take us. May the book find in the brotherhood the wide public it deserves.

T.J.B

Privacy |  Terms & Conditions |  Site Map |  Site by Quick By Design
Registered Address
The Christadelphian, 404 Shaftmoor Lane, Hall Green, Birmingham, B28 8SZ
Registered charity in England and Wales (No. 240090)
A charitable company limited by guarantee
(Company No. 329186 - England and Wales)
Tel: +44 (0)121 777 6328
Fax: +44 (0)121 778 5024
loading loading...