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Preaching with Bold Assurance: A Solid and Enduring Approach to Engaging Exposition [Paperback]

By Hershael W. York (Author) & Bert Decker (Author)
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Item description for Preaching with Bold Assurance: A Solid and Enduring Approach to Engaging Exposition by Hershael W. York & Bert Decker...

Brings the Bold Assurance concept to the pulpit, giving preachers a practical tool to help them use their minds, mouths, and beings to communicate effectively.

Publishers Description
Preachers are under the biblical mandate to preach with conviction, passion, and in a way that the Word of God engages the audience and grips their hearts. Hershael York and Bert Decker have written a book that will equip preachers to do just that. Preaching with Bold Assurance brings the Bold Assurance concept to the pulpit, giving preachers a practical tool to help them use their minds, mouths, and beings to communicate effectively. Preachers will learn the tools for powerful and effective communication based on biblical truth and proven concepts from the business world so they can preach boldly and skillfully by understanding how God uses us as communicators.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: B&H Books
Pages   275
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.1" Width: 6.2" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2003
Publisher   Broadman And Holman
ISBN  080542623X  
ISBN13  9780805426236  

Availability  5 units.
Availability accurate as of Nov 24, 2017 02:15.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Hershael W. York & Bert Decker

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Preaching

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Books > Church & Ministry > Pastoral Help > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Preaching With Bold Assurance?

The Wedding of Textual Integrity and Communication Skill  May 18, 2004
While much contemporary preaching theory pays lip-service to the need for both textual integrity and communication skill, the modern practice of preaching appears to worship the latter while giving only token acknowledgement to the former. In other words, much contemporary preaching is functionally non-biblical. At the same time, the often criticized practice of expository preaching is long overdue a reformation from simply imparting information. Quite possibly the "95 Theses" for such a change can be found in this engaging book that calls for a wedding of sound biblical exposition with culturally relevant communication technique.

Shunning the tendency of preachers to simply fill their listeners' heads with information, the authors champion for proclamation of the Word that grips people's souls and motivates them to conform to the will of God. "Our approach to the Bible and to preaching," they say, "has application as its ultimate goal." Consequently, sermons must be custom-built to change lives.

Such an approach places dual emphasis on exposition and communication in order to conform listeners to the will of God. The authors refuse to allow preachers to choose between being either biblical or effective. They refreshingly call upon them to be both. Correcting the myth that expository preaching is one among many sermon forms, this book describes it as "the end result of explaining and applying the meaning of the text." In other words, it is the kind of preaching that shows people the meaning of a biblical text and leads them to apply it to their lives.

Lamenting the rarity of true expositors in contemporary pulpits, York and Decker begin by calling preachers back to preparing sermons that are saturated with the Word of God so that they capitalize on its inherent power to change lives. To assist with such a task, the book provides extensive help for outlining and diagramming passages in order to engage the biblical text and allow it to drive the sermon.

After laying the foundation for exposition, the authors then provide practical help in developing the skill of sermon crafting, contending that the preacher must be committed both to biblical truth and also to culturally relevant styles of communication. The book guides preachers in the technical aspects of building sermons that connect with contemporary culture, addressing such expected topics as sermon outlines, illustrations, introductions, and conclusions. What separates York and Decker's treatment of such topics apart from that of other homiletical works is the provision of numerous practical helps, clear examples, and specific references to relevant issues germane to the respective subjects.

Building on principles of sound exposition and effective sermon-building, Preaching with Bold Assurance then guides the preacher in the practice of skillful sermon delivery. The authors emphasize the need for the preacher to establish trust with the congregation by utilizing both verbal and visual communication. This contention is not a call for preachers to stoop to "selling the Gospel," but it is a warning that people may not even hear the Gospel if they do not find preachers credible. Listeners "must have an emotional response to the evangelist before they can ever hear the evangel."

Preaching with Bold Assurance is an enjoyable read because of the authors' use of numerous personal illustrations and practical examples. One particular quality that sets it apart from many preaching works is that the writers cut through the chase of homiletical theory and jargon. The book is simple and to the point. Additionally, York and Decker do a magnificent job of answering common objections to expository preaching and dispelling familiar myths related to its practice.

While one must be picky to identify weaknesses in the work, a humble attempt at objectivity brings two areas to the surface. First, while the authors do an outstanding job of distinguishing between preachers who have a working knowledge of the biblical languages and those who do not, the amount of time spent on diagramming passages is quite extensive in comparison to treatments of other subjects. However, this weightiness is likely due to York's background in New Testament studies, an emphasis which certainly is welcome to the serious student of biblical exposition. Second, the use of the Decker Grid System in crafting the sermon is somewhat laborious and appears at times to be forced on the process of biblical exposition. Consequently, the approach may limit the sermon in some cases from being entirely text-driven.

While the authors' first work was more Decker and less York, the current title is more York and less Decker. Consequently, the first book was driven predominantly by general communication theory. Pleasantly, this recent release is driven mainly by solid expositional and homiletical theory, making it a much more relevant tool for those commissioned with the preaching task. This work will serve well the serious preacher, teacher of preaching, and student of preaching in their pursuit of the much-needed synthesis of biblical exposition and relevant communication theory.

A Methodology of Preaching  May 15, 2004
From the outset I must confess that this book was not that helpful. If it is the first book on preaching you have ever read then it may be helpful but if you have read at least one or two other preaching books than this one won't help much. It seems that most of the content is a regurgitation of what numerous other books on preaching have said. The only thing is that the other books such as Stott, Robinson, and especially Chapell have said it better.

I will begin with what I see as various problems to the books approach and then I will end with what I see as the bright spots in the book. First, this work is not a theology of preaching. From the title one would think that at the least a theological argument for bold preaching would be developed but no such argumentation is offered. It is more a methodology of preaching. The book attempts to offer various tools for the busy preacher to help obtain effective preaching. As an interesting side note the book never really defines just what effective preaching is!

While the book does seek to wed together both message and method, content, and delivery it nonetheless remains that delivery and methodology take the reigns in this book. In the first part of the book the actual text is dealt with where the authors seek to argue for the goals, commitments, and purpose of preaching. This is by far the best section.

They do offer a method of outlining the biblical text, which follows along the lines of breaking down the sentences into the clausal level. Sentence diagramming is indeed helpful but I believe that there are better tools to this end. See Schreiner's "Interpreting the Pauline Epistles" (chapter 5) for a helpful way to diagram the Greek text and also Mounce's "Graded Reader" for a sure guide to diagramming on the broader clausal level.

In the second part of the book the authors deal with the development of the actual sermon. Chapter six on building a sermon with the Decker Grid System was extremely unhelpful. I am not sure why it was included in the book except that it was co-authored by Decker.

One of the biggest problems with the book as a whole is that the authors argue for making the sermon points applicational. I agree that sermons are to be strongly applicational for application is nothing more than giving teeth to Scripture. However the method of making all sermon points as applicational is seriously flawed. First, I am not against such an approach if the text allows and demands it. If one is preaching from the commands of Paul then it is valid to make the points applicational, but if one is preaching from narrative to make such applicational points would be to possibly degrade authorial intent (one of the author's five precommitments to preaching!). We need to allow the text to determine our sermon points, not our desire for application. Secondly, in insisting on application points there is the ever present danger of having one's sermon fall into moralism. This is particularly true of Old Testament preaching and fails to understand the redemptive-historical storyline of the Bible. The Bible is about Christ and mere moralism without Christ as the center is only the preaching of the law and not the law and the gospel. Such a danger is inherent in this approach.

Part three of the book is by far the worst. While the section begins well by stressing the importance of trust in preaching it quickly spirals downward. In order to establish trust, the authors believe that one must have effective communication skills. This truly is part of establishing trust but it is not the whole. One wonders if Paul would be heard since he often probably failed to meet the others nine communication skills and probably did not use applicational points in all his sermons. Trust is achieved both through behavior (in and out of the pulpit) and by faithfulness to the content, which is Holy Scripture.

Chapter twelve in my opinion is just hokey. There is no other way I can use to describe the authors notion of first brain theory. I am not at all a fan of psychology so maybe that is the problem, but the gatekeeper of the thinking brain is actually a visual only brain? This may be true for some people, but I am not one of them. They believe that if you want to reach a person's intellect you must go through their heart. There of course is some truth to this but to paint the picture so broadly is surely incorrect.

Overall this book tends to place more of preaching into the hands of the preacher instead of into the work of the Spirit. Of course they argue for the necessity of both in the book, but by the emphases within such argumentation seems rather contradictory. It gets back to this book seeming to be rooted in a poor theology of preaching. Theology does affect methodology! I believe that this is the greatest downfall of the book. It would have been more useful to spend at least a chapter or two developing a theology of preaching.

There are some redeeming qualities though. The five precommitments of the expositor although very basic are helpful reminders. The book also helps summarize various other books on preaching which is helpful. Preaching should also be calculated and purposeful while sticking to the biblical text. This is a needed reminder as many expositors often go astray from the text. I guess giving York and Decker the benefit of the doubt one should view this book as emphasizing one side of the coin. They emphasize the side of human responsibility while other books tend to emphasize the divine work of God. This may be behind the reason why this book was not that helpful for me.

Written with the Pastor in mind  Apr 28, 2004
What Preacher of the gospel, true to his calling doesn't need and want a powerful injection into their sermon preparation? Even though the book is easy to read, and very clear, the authors, nonetheless, give the preacher a conception to completion method, employing everything from the necessity of the Holy Spirit's power to the to the delivery of the message.
But this book is by no means reserved for the scholarly only. The combined efforts of a seminary professor's heart and a fine christian business man's expertise provide tools for all who stand behind the pulpits and desire to do this scriptures justice. You will especially enjoy the "Becker Grid System."
What blesses my heart is that this book is written with Pastors in mind. For those who know Dr. York, his pastoral experience has fueled the desire to assist preachers.
Read it prayerfully!
A helpful book for the pastor  Jun 21, 2003
York and Decker have done it! They have given preachers a book that will help them preach better sermons in a better way for better results. The plans for sermon preparation and the practical advice for developing communication skills are worth the price of the book. I have been in the pastorate for 22 yrs and wish that this book had been on my shelf when I first started. This book is a useful tool for the pastor just beginning his ministry to the well-seasoned pastor who has been preaching for many years. God Bless its use for His Glory.

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