Thomas G. Long and Leonora Tubbs Tisdale, eds., Teaching Preaching as a Christian Practice: A New Approach to Homiletical Pedagogy (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008).
I enjoyed reading this book. It is written for teachers of homiletics, but pastors would also benefit from reading it. It is written by some of the leading homileticians from the Academy of Homiletics. Thomas Long who is one of the editors said, “the focal point of the book is on the substance of preaching”. It builds on the past and present literature of preaching and pin-points that preaching as an art that can be learned.
The field of homiletics is extensive and the editors must have had a difficult time in deciding what subjects should be addressed and by whom. However, all the writers believe in the importance of preaching. The first section deals with “preaching as a Christian practice”. The second section deals with the “various components of preaching”. The third section deals with “assessment and formation of preaching,” and the last section deals with “teaching a first year course in preaching, and places to find further help on the study of preaching.” I found the last two sections most helpful in assessing students of preaching, and the help that is offered from the Academy of Homiletics and the support that is offered from various schools and denominations. Assessing students of preaching is very difficult and the guidance provided by leading teachers and their various approaches to this challenging subject can help teachers to be more proficient. There is further need by senior homileticians to publish further works that provides more guidance for younger teachers of preaching.
Reviewed by Aldwin Ragoonath