As I’m often asked for book recommendations on various subjects, I decided to put together an online list of my top ten books in various categories. Basically, if I was only allowed 10 books in my library on that subject, these are the ten I would choose. Other posts include:
- Top 10 Books on Christ in The Old Testament
- Top 10 Books on Depression
- Top 10 Biographies of Christian Men
- Top 10 Biographies of Christian Women
- Top 10 Books on Fighting Porn
- Top 10 Books for Moms
- Top 10 Books for Graduates
- Top 10 Books on Leadership
- Top 10 Books on Christian Leadership
- Top 10 Books for Dads
Today I’m listing my Top 10 books on preaching.
After my list you’ll find a poll where you can cast three votes for your favorite books and help others choose the best books on the subject. Click on “View Results” to see what books are most popular. You can also add any book not on the list by writing the title in “Other.”
1. Preaching and Preachers by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
What a difference it would make to the church if this book was modeled more widely. As the title suggest it is not just about sermons, but about those who preach them – the message and the man. This edition is interspersed with valuable commentary by contemporary preachers like Logon Duncan and Mark Dever.
2. Christ-centered Preaching by Bryan Chapell.
If I was just starting out in preaching, this would be my first purchase. It will anchor your sermons in the text and focus them on Christ. Key insight is the FCF (Fallen Condition Focus).
3. Between Two Worlds: The Challenge of Preaching Today by John Stott.
Good material on the theology of preaching, and good arguments to overcome objections to preaching. Especially good on identifying “The Dominant Thought” of the preaching passage. Also strong on application, but if I was looking for something on application alone, I would choose Truth Applied by Jay Adams.
4. How to Preach Biblically by John Macarthur and the Master’s Seminary Faculty.
As is common with multiple authorship, some chapters overlap and some are a little weak but this is the most comprehensive book on preaching on this list.
5. Feed my Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching by a constellation of outstanding preachers, edited by Don Kistler.
Not for the newbie but if you’ve been preaching for a few years this will take you to the next level.
6. The Preacher and Preaching by various preachers, edited by Sam Logan.
My favorites chapter are Exegesis by Sinclair Ferguson and Sermon Structure and Flow by Glen Knecht. Gwyn Walters’ chapter on The Body in the Pulpit is also fascinating.
7. So Pastor, What’s Your Point? by Dennis Prutow.
Really a complete homiletics course in one large but very practical volume.
8. On The Preparation and Delivery of Sermons by John Broadus.
A bit verbose, but a treasure trove of classic homiletic teaching. Some of it dated, but much-needed “old-fashioned” emphasis on the privilege and dignity of the office of preacher.
9. Lectures to My Students by C.H Spurgeon.
So full of plain common sense and lots of funny stories.
10. How Sermons Work by David Murray.
Hope you’ll forgive me for including this – in my defense, I put it in at #10! Probably the simplest and most practical of the bunch. A good starter or refresher.
Now you decide, what are your favorites? You can cast three votes and add a book if it’s not in the list.
If I’d had a Top Twenty the following books would also have been included.
The Imperative of Preaching by John Carrick. Explains the four “moods” of preaching : The indicative, the exclamative, the interrogative, and the imperative, with the emphasis of the book being on the imperative.
The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper. More focused on the subject of preaching than the method. But if this book doesn’t put fire in your belly, nothing will.
The Christian Ministry by Charles Bridges. Covers much more than preaching but still worth it for the preaching material alone.
Preach: Theology Meets Practice by Mark Dever and Greg Gilbert. 40 pages on the theology of preaching, 70 on the practice, and another 60 of sample sermons where the principle and the practice come together.
Dying to Preach: Embracing the Cross in the Pulpit by Steven W. Smith. His basic thesis is that the nature of our message should impact the way we present and communicate our message. Those who preach a crucified Christ should preach in a crucified style. And even though it is more about style than substance, the whole book is an argument for an absence of style, or, rather, a crucified style.
How To Preach Without Notes by Charles Koller. More specialized, but even if you don’t get to note-less, it will encourage less dependence on notes.
The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text by Sidney Greidanus. A bit more technical but also many practical helps to bridge the gap between the time and culture of when the Bible was written and our own day.
Why Johnny Can’t Preach by T. David Gordon. Fairly negative but needed.
Preaching to a Post-Everything World by Zack Eswine. This and the following book are the two best books on preaching that have been published in the last couple of years. Contemporary, challenging, and encouraging.
Saving Eutychus: How to Preach God’s Word and Keep People Awake by Gary Millar and Phil Campbell. A call for more imagination, creativity, and feeling in preaching. Given the aim (less sleepy hearers), I was surprised at the continued commitment to full manuscript in the pulpit.
How to Evaluate Sermons by Joel Beeke. Although this focuses on the aftermath of preaching, it’s also a great checklist before preaching.
Sacred Rhetoric by R. L Dabney
Preaching: A Biblical Theology by Jason C. Meyer
Preaching with Purpose by Jay Adams
Preaching? Simply Teaching on Simply Preaching by Alec Motyer
Biblical Preaching by Haddon Robinson
Spirit Empowered Preaching by Art Azurdia
The Cross and Christian Ministry by D. A. Carson