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Between Two Worlds: The Challenge of Preaching Today Paperback – May 18, 1982

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 351 pages
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; Reprint edition (May 18, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802806279
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802806277
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By William E. Turner Jr. on May 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
Stott's modern classic, Between Two Worlds, argues that there is a chasm between the biblical world and the modern world. This chasm is bridged through the preaching and proclamation of the Word of God. It is the preacher, empowered through the Spirit, who stands in the gap between these two worlds. It is through preaching whereby the world of the Bible is brought into the world of modern hearers and modern culture is confronted with the Bible.
Stott begins by briefly surveying the history of preaching from Jesus to the 20th-Century. He continues by answering three objections, which are commonly leveled against preaching. First, he confronts the anti-authority mood of our culture by arguing that preaching should be dialogical - preaching is not a monologue but a conversation. The second objection is the ever-growing problem with the technological dominance of our culture. God is a speaking God and Christianity is very much a culture of the written and spoken word. How then is one to be heard in an ever-increasing culture of images? Stott shows that the sacraments are visual and most necessary our lives must visually reflect the message we proclaim. The last objection is the loss of confidence in the gospel. Founded upon strong conviction, Christian preaching, must regain confidence in the truth, relevance, and power of the gospel.
The heart of the book is found in chapters three and four. Chapter three highlights the theological foundations for preaching. One must have biblical convictions about God, Scripture, the Church, the pastorate, and preaching. We must allow the text to be master and preachers must recognize that they are servants to Scripture. In chapter four he proceeds to make the case that preaching is bridge-building.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Neil M Cameron on May 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
I just finished this book (English edition "I Believe in Preaching") and, though I had a number of quibbles, I think this is one of Stott's most classic books. Churches throughout the world have systematically abandoned expository preaching and taken hold of secular business growth strategies. While growth in numbers may occur, the depth of faith is not there because the preaching is not from the Bible. Stott's book is a reminder that preachers should not preach what the audience wants to hear, but what they need to hear. What Stott really pushed for me was the notion that preachers should engage both the intellect and the emotion. Preaching which is merely intellectual is dry and uninteresting, no matter how true it is. Preaching which is merely emotional has little substance to it. True Expository preaching (the systematic preaching through books of the Bible, rather than topics or themes or hobbyhorses of the preacher) engages both the head and the heart, the intellect and the emotions, the ancient world (of the Bible) with the modern world of today.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brian G Hedges on July 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
This excellent resource on preaching was very fresh for me. Stott approaches it from a different angle than many do. His aim is to show that preaching must connect two worlds - the Biblical world and the modern world. The image he uses is bridge-building, and the only bridge that is successfully built, is the one with an end firmly planted on both sides of the gap it attempts to span! Thus, this book encourages not only a firm grasp of the Scriptures, but a regular perusal of the newspaper . . . not because the two are equal in authority, but because the aim of the preacher is to bring the Bible to bear on the mind of the modern man. Other very interesting things are discussed - like the history of preaching, methods of study, and how to prepare sermons. An excellent resource for preachers and pastors!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rob Taylor on April 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
John Stott is a preacher of great renown so it is both enlightening and encouraging to read about his struggles with preaching as well as the advice he gives after a lifetime in the pulpit. Throughout the book he inserted small parentheses which seem minuscule but are very helpful to the aspiring preacher. Another delight in reading Stott's book is his thorough scouring of many homiletical books of others. In reading this book, one gets the sense they are reading somewhere between 8-10 books since Stott is culling information from them. This book is a far cry from being a shot from the hip. Stott has researched his topic well. I found this book to be more than just an homiletics book but also a history book and a spiritual formation book. With the modern crisis in preaching of preachers who are ignorant of the history of preaching and more importantly impotent in their spirituality, I can hardly criticize Stott for giving more attention to these matters. Since I enjoy Church history a great deal, I was pleased to read the perspectives many of the great preachers had on the form, power and content of preaching. This bred a great deal of understanding in my own mind toward the task of preaching. I was also greatly encouraged to see the effects of God's Word as it has been preached from faithful vessels with God's glory in mind. If there is one thing I would want to communicate to others about this book it would be its emphasis on the mandatory spiritual life. From cover to cover Stott is emphatic in separating God's Word from man's word. Since the preacher is not preaching his own ideas but rather God's, it is imperative that the preacher not impede the power of the message with his own shoddy character. The preacher is first of all a man of God and secondly a receptacle and a distributor of God's Word.
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