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The Hardest Sermons You'll Ever Have to Preach: Help from Trusted Preachers for Tragic Times Paperback – August 27, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (August 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310331218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310331216
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bryan Chapell is the bestselling author of numerous books on Christian ministry and life. Christ-Centered Preaching and Christ-Centered Worship are standard seminary texts; Holiness by Grace, Each for the Other, and Praying Backwards have helped thousands find greater joy and fulfillment in the grace of Christ. Bryan has been a pastor and is President Emeritus at Covenant Seminary. He and his wife, Kathy, have four children.

Customer Reviews

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See all 10 customer reviews
The preaching is very solid.
Bird
This is a very helpful book in times of preparing to address a crisis, a situation, or a disaster.
T. Brosius
It's times like these that remind us of the importance of the body of Christ.
Jacob Sweeney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By William D. Curnutt TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 31, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Bryan Chapell has put together a wonderful collection of essays from well known established Pastors who often are called upon to preach the tough sermons at funerals that have devastated a family, a church or a community. How do we as faithful Pastors respond in such times of crisis? How do we write and preach sermons that will be tools in the Redeemer's Hands to bring comfort and care, show empathy and compassion, and yet preach the Gospel in all situations?

The books is broken down into five sections, they are;

Part One: Preaching in Response to Tragedy
Part Two: Preaching after the loss of a child
Part Three: Preaching funerals with Especially Difficult Causes or Circumstances
Part Four: Preaching funerals for Public figures
Part Five: Preaching after Suicide

Then there are three Appendixes to help the pastor deal with putting together these sermons and helping families to cope with the stresses they are facing.

Within the Five Categories listed above there are twenty-five chapters written by people such as John Piper, Bryan Chapell, Tim Keller, Michael Horton and others. The combined wisdom of these men and the years they have spent in preparing and teaching these difficult sermons gives them a unique perspective and they provide us with guidance that is difficult to find almost anywhere.

If you Shepherd a Flock of any type you will eventually be faced with a difficult crisis. I'm convinced that this will be the first reference book that you will reach for when you sit down to start writing that sermon that you desire to bring hope and healing to your congregation.

I want to thank Dr. Chapell for putting this together and believe he has given a very valuable gift to the Body of Christ.

Enjoy!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jacob Sweeney on September 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
Preaching is difficult. Ask any pastor who preaches regularly. For those who are called to it, there is considerable joy and life to be found in preaching. But that doesn't mean it's not difficult. In fact, I would suggest that those who are the greatest of preachers understand the fullness of the difficulty and embrace it.

As tough as preaching is, there are times when it is profoundly difficult and painful. Suicide. Abortion. Murder. Illness. How do you preach hope to a couple who has just experienced their third miscarriage? What do you say when a local teenager takes her own life? How do you apply the healing balm of Christ to a divorcee - while avoiding shallow advice or cliche? It's times like these that remind us of the importance of the body of Christ. Each one has been given diverse and varying gifts for the building up of the body.

Bryan Chapell will be familiar to any who have taken courses in preaching. He is the President and a Professor of Preaching at Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO. His most well-known book is one titled <em>Christ-Centered Preaching</em>. It is an excellent text on preaching. His latest book published by Zondervan is aimed at helping preachers with those particularly difficult messages. "The Hardest Sermons You'll Ever Have to Preach" is a collection of sermons that serve as examples for difficult circumstances. Some have been written by Dr. Chapell, others have been written by contributors (including Tim Keller, John Piper and Dan Doriani). He has edited them all in a helpful volume.

Each chapter begins with a paragraph describing the situation, another the concerns and one the approach taken towards the text. Immediately following is a manuscript of the message.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Life Long Reader on March 12, 2012
Format: Paperback
Few, if any, would disagree that one has ever felt prepared to preach what every preacher would consider their hardest sermons. So often we go through preaching classes and read books on how to hone the preaching craft and never think about those sermons that we will have to preach that will be the most challenging on so many levels. Pastors are never prepared for the first and hardly feel more prepared for each subsequent one.

Death. It befalls us all whether we see it around the corner or it comes to us unexpectedly. Every preacher will have their share of sermons tied to death through community tragedy, the death of an unborn or young child, death by suicide, death by tragic circumstances or death by sudden or prolonged natural causes. Though no funeral is easy to preach some are harder than others due to the nature of the circumstances and every preacher hopes he can receive help and guidance on how to preach his first and many more after.

Perhaps the first of its kind, Bryan Chapell has brought together some of the hardest sermons ever preached on a wide variety of topics. The Hardest Sermons You'll Ever Have to Preach is a compilation of sermons by well-known pastors like Mark Dever, John Piper, Bryan Chapell, Tim Keller and Michael Horton. In the introduction, Chapell points out that all of the preachers featured in this book are from "the Reformed theological perspective, believing in the sovereign control of God over all things" (p. 12).

This sovereign control of God over all things is one of the defining and unifying features of this collection of sermons. Each pastor believes that God is not hands off in the midst of tragedy but is sovereignly working all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28).
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