Preaching with Freshness

By Bruce Mawhinney
Eugene, OR : Harvest House (1991). 258 Pages.

Reviewed by
2.2 (Fall 1991) : 215-215

This is an insightful and creative approach that models the freshness it prescribes. The book narrates the trials of a young preacher. These serve as a vehicle for prescribing homiletical principles. Paul, a frustrated pastor about to leave his church because he has lost his zeal for the pulpit and pastorate, meets with his former homiletics professor while visiting the old seminary campus. Dr. Vickerson seizes the opportunity to encourage his former student before he joins the ranks of countless others who found the hurdles of ministry insurmountable. Paul soon discovers that he has given up the ministry of the Word to serve tables, the exact opposite of what the Scriptures prescribe, but the course that too many preachers choose because of a wrong view of servanthood. The book is both a homiletics text with life and breath reality clothing its bare-bones principles and a story whose characters live out a successful conclusion to the tensions that so often ruin preachers.

The book concludes with a "preaching with freshness checklist" which ties together in one outline (two formats) the principles taught in the narrative. Because Bruce Mawhinney's new book is enjoyable and helpful, it deserves a place in a preacher's library. Hopefully, it will help preachers whose seemingly unending pulpit struggles could be reduced with a little encouragement and some sage advice.