Christian Preaching as Worship
John Piper has distilled over thirty years of preaching experience into one book for the benefit of pastors and other Bible teachers.
Building on the foundation laid by his previous two books, A Peculiar Glory and Reading the Bible Supernaturally, Piper makes a compelling claim about the purpose of a sermon: it should not just explain the text; it should awaken worship by being worship. Christian preaching is a God-appointed means of transforming its hearers in both head and heart — in both intellect and affections.
With clear examples of specific methods, Piper shows preachers how and what to communicate from the pulpit in a way that takes seriously the task of handling the word of God week in and week out in the context of, and as, Christian worship.
It is a refreshing change to read a book on preaching that contains almost nothing about technique but rather focuses on the Bible’s teaching about the nature and awesome privilege of the task — and, above all, on the majesty of God, whose servants we are and whose glories we are called to proclaim. Many preachers will be spurred on by these pages, as I have been, to keep giving themselves to the solemn and joyful tasks of explaining Scripture and exulting in God. Vaughan Roberts, Pastor, Oxford, England
The first time I heard John Piper preach the Bible, I was in my early twenties and had never experienced anything like the passion and power that proceeded from a zeal rooted and tethered to the text. This became for me a blueprint to be emulated. I am grateful that he has written the great lessons of over thirty years of “expository exultation” for the generations to come. There is gold in these pages, and I am eager for the next group of those who will herald the good news of the gospel to be shaped by it. We are in desperate need of serious preaching in these serious days. Matt Chandler, Pastor, Flower Mound, Texas
John Piper’s Expository Exultation is fittingly dedicated to Martyn Lloyd-Jones, because it may well do for the present generation what Preaching and Preachers did uniquely for previous ones — instruct, humble, challenge, and inspire. Here are heat and light combined — what Lloyd-Jones called “logic on fire.” All the emphases we have come to expect from Piper are here: God-centered, Christ-focused, Spirit-imbued, with rigorous attention to the text of Scripture and passionate theological conviction. Piper displays a take-you-by-the-throat honesty and a sense of the weight of glory that marks true worship. Here is a book about preaching in which God himself takes center stage. Expository Exultation is a stunning utterance, a leave-you-wanting-more kind of book. It prostrates us in the dust, then sets us on our feet, and thus makes us want to be and do better for God. It is simply a must-read for every preacher of the gospel. Sinclair Ferguson, Professor, Reformed Theological Seminary
Piper has written more than fifty books, so there is something a bit outrageous in suggesting that Expository Exultation is his best. But such a case can be made. Perhaps that is because I, like John, am a preacher, and was profoundly instructed, rebuked, encouraged, and given even greater hope for my ministry through the insights he provides in this book. I trust John has many more volumes to come, but for my money, this is the culmination of his contribution to pastoral ministry. If you’re not a pastor or preacher, read it anyway. If you are in full-time ministry, dig deeply into this immense treasure trove of homiletical insight. I’m confident that if you do, it will radically transform your approach to God’s Word and the passion with which you preach it. Sam Storms, Pastor, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
John Piper’s new book on preaching is a dream come true. I have personally been waiting for this book for nearly twenty years. Piper’s first book on preaching was monumental. This book is even better. It was worth the wait. Jason Meyer, Pastor, Minneapolis, Minnesota
John Piper writes with the expository conviction we expect, encouraging preachers not only to say what is true but also to show how the Bible establishes that truth. He writes beyond our expectations, however, when putting his pastoral finger on the chief expository errors within our ranks: the moralistic error (“Just do it!”) and the replacement error (“You can’t do it, so merely enjoy justification by imputed righteousness”). Finally, he advocates for the preaching we need, urging that in all our expositions “we would make a beeline from the cross to the resurrection to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to the giving of Scripture to the blood-bought miracle of new birth to the mystery of Christ in you, the hope of glory, to the beauties of Christ-permeating, Christ-exalting self-control and sober-mindedness and love.” This is great writing to exult the glorious power of the gospel that pervades all of Scripture. Bryan Chapell, Pastor, Peoria, Illinois
Piper shows how true preaching and true worship go hand in hand in the most natural way. This takes place when the preacher works carefully to exegete the text through the anointing of the Spirit and comes to the pulpit under the same influence. The goal is to bring out the spiritual reality behind each text of the Scriptures to honor the intention of the human writer, but especially to exalt the glory of the divine author who inspired the text. This is what this book is all about. Read it slowly, digest its content carefully, and then bring its principles into practice piously. Miguel Núñez, Pastor, International Baptist Church