*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

STRIPPING PREACHING TO ITS BARE ESSENTIALS

by
02 November 2006

iStock

Monarch £7.99 (1-85424-712-3); Church Times Bookshop £7.20

THE death of preaching seems regularly to be announced somewhat prematurely. Just as we settle down to the idea that short attention spans, iPods, and the internet mean that no one will listen to someone talking at them for more than 30 seconds, someone else describes a Church in which sermons are so sought after that they are recorded and made available on the web, so that eager iPod-users can download them.

This book is clearly written from the point of view that preaching is anything but dead, and that the key task before us is not to start the embalming process, but to consider how to refine and renew the skills needed to keep it alive for generations to come.

With the words "stripping" and "bare" in the title, it is obviously designed to catch the attention of the browser in the bookshop (or on Amazon?) rather than to feature on the book list of a homiletics course.

It is not a weighty tome (just 160 pages of fairly big print), nor is it written by a weighty or ponderous person. Simon Coupland is clearly a man who loves to communicate, and it's his passion for preaching that comes across more than anything. Not everyone will appreciate his chatty and informal style (many exclamation marks), but it does make it ideal if you are looking for a book to give a would-be preacher who might be intimidated by the likes of John Stott's I Believe in Preaching or Yngve Brilioth's Landmarks in the History of Preaching.

It is the person new to preaching - perhaps a youth pastor, someone (especially a younger person) considering Reader ministry, or someone in the early stages of considering a call to ordination - who will benefit most from this book. It is not a thorough account (nothing here, for instance, on preaching in different contexts, such as evangelistic outreach or Sunday liturgy), but it is an enthusing book, and one that would establish some good basic principles from which to move on.
The Revd Mark Earey is Team Rector of Morley, Leeds.

To order this book, email the details to Church Times Bookshop

Church Times Bookshop

Save money on books reviewed or featured in the Church Times. To get your reader discount:

> Click on the “Church Times Bookshop” link at the end of the review.

> Call 0845 017 6965 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5pm).

The reader discount is valid for two months after the review publication date. E&OE

The Church Times Archive

Read reports from issues stretching back to 1863, search for your parish or see if any of the clergy you know get a mention.

FREE for Church Times subscribers.

Explore the archive

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)