Homiletics & Hermeneutics

December 11th, 2018| Topic: aBeLOG | 4

Homiletics <em>&</em> Hermeneutics

For those interested in a debate on preaching, here goes:

Homiletics and Hermeneutics: Four Views on Preaching Today (Baker), edited by Scott Gibson and Matthew Kim (both of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary), just came out in December 2018. 

Your faithful blogger had the privilege of presenting one of those four views and commenting on each of the other three views produced, respectively, by:

Bryan Chapell, Senior Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church, Peoria, Illinois,
Kenneth Langley, Senior Pastor, Christ Community Church, Zion, Illinois, and
Paul Scott Wilson, Professor of Homiletics, Emmanuel College, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

And here are the contents of the work:

1. Redemptive-Historic View, by Bryan Chapell
  Response by Abraham Kuruvilla
  Response by Kenneth Langley
  Response by Paul Scott Wilson
2. Christiconic View, by Abraham Kuruvilla
  Response by Bryan Chapell
  Response by Kenneth Langley
  Response by Paul Scott Wilson
3. Theocentric View, by Kenneth Langley
  Response by Bryan Chapell
  Response by Abraham Kuruvilla
  Response by Paul Scott Wilson
4. Law–Gospel View, by Paul Scott Wilson
  Response by Bryan Chapell
  Response by Abraham Kuruvilla
  Response by Kenneth Langley

Some nice words on the tome from some nice people:

This book surfaces what is unconscious, and sharpens what is fuzzy, in our approach to preaching—namely, the theological and hermeneutical underpinnings that subtly shape our sermons. Four authors cogently argue for their approach and graciously interact with others. Nuggets of wisdom, insights, and felicitous expressions abound. A stimulating and profitable book!”

Donald R.Sunukjian
Professor of Preaching
Chair, Department of Christian Ministry and Leadership
TalbotSchool of Theology, Biola University
La Mirada, California

I don’t know why this book hasn’t been written already—it is such a vital topic for preachers—but it is certainly welcome now. Many preachers may not be able to articulate their grand hermeneutical approach to preaching Scripture, but they almost certainly employ an implicit approach that has a major impact on their sermons. If their hermeneutic is implicit, this conversation between four respected and seasoned homileticians will help readers think more deeply about what they are doing and why. If their view is already explicit, they will profit from the challenge of the other perspectives and may even need to rethink! The book is a model of clarity and courteous debate among those who long to preach the word of God in a faithful, lively fashion today. It is worth reading and pondering slowly.”

Derek Tidball
Former Principal
London School of Theology
London, U.K.

A fourfold cord is not easily broken. These four contributors participate in the marriage between homiletics and hermeneutics that must remain extant if preaching is to survive and thrive during the swirling current of our contemporary society. Though each author’s homiletical approach is distinct, they are united in their robust hermeneutical foundation in providing a theology for preaching. Readers are invited to eavesdrop on the conversation within Homiletics and Hermeneutics and apply this conversation to their own preaching ministry.”

Robert Smith Jr.
Charles T. Carter Baptist Chair of Divinity
Beeson Divinity School, Samford University
Birmingham, Alabama

Few things are as important to preaching as hermeneutics. But before jumping to the task, spend some time with this book, thinking about the assumptions that shape your work. Scott Gibson and Matthew Kim have brought together four leading homileticians to start a much-needed conversation about the nature of biblical interpretation and its role in the sermon. It is a pleasure to recommend this book.”

John Koessler
Professor of Applied Theology and Church Ministry
Moody Bible Institute
Chicago, Illinois



  1. Ken Langley December 12, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    This is one excellent book. Especially that third chapter. Two enthusiastic thumbs up.

    • Abe Kuruvilla December 15, 2018 at 6:12 pm

      Someone is tooting his own …

      (And if you look at the second response to the third chapter, you’ll understand why!)

  2. Logan Greenfield December 11, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    Hi Dr. Kuruvilla,

    Thanks for posting this. I am really excited to pick this up and start reading it. I miss your class and wish my life would have allowed me to have taken more classes. Thank you for your service the Church and the grace you showed me. I look forward to reading!


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