In a year when a variety of stimulating and thoughtful works on preaching hit the shelves, Thomas G. Long’s latest work, The Witness of Preaching (Westminster/John Knox Press), rises to the top as the outstanding work for preachers in the past year.
Long, who serves as Patton associate professor of preaching and worship at Princeton Theological Seminary, is one of the premier writers and practitioners of the preaching craft on the contemporary scene. He has written widely in the field of homiletics, and this most recent work takes its appropriate place among the outstanding publications on preaching produced in recent years.
In his review of The Witness of Preaching (which appeared in the March-April 1990 issue of Preaching), Associate Editor R. Albert Mohler called Long’s book a “significant contribution” which “will be gladly received by those who love preaching and relish the opportunity to glean from another preacher’s careful reflection on the preaching task.
Some other excerpts from that review:
“Long … has overcome the sense that preaching is something done on behalf of the people of God, and has reminded us that genuine preaching is an act of the congregation, accomplished through the preacher.”
“Long calls for biblical preaching and sets this as the norm for the Christian church. It is normative, he insists, because it has been the prevailing pattern for the church and, more importantly, because it is the standard against which all other forms should be judged.”
“Long offers a five-step pattern of exegesis in preparation for preaching. The steps are, in succession: getting the text in view, getting introduced to the text, attending to the text, testing what is heard in the text, and moving toward the sermon. Nevertheless, he suggests that the goal of the preacher should not be to master a set of steps toward interpretation, but should be to move ‘toward an instinctive way of dwelling critically, attentively, and faithfully with the text’.”
“The preacher as witness encounters the Bible as a living Presence. He adds: ‘The picture of the preacher sitting alone in the study, working with a biblical text in preparation for the sermon is misleading. It is not the preacher who goes to the scripture; it is the church that goes to the scripture by means of the preacher’.”
An interview with Long and John Killinger begins on page 14 of this issue. An excerpt from Long’s book begins on page 2.

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