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A Vision for Preaching

Understanding the Heart of Pastoral Ministry

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Teacher of preachers Abraham Kuruvilla develops an integrated biblical and theological vision for preaching that addresses the essentials of this most important activity in the church. Kuruvilla draws on influential voices from church history, teases out scriptural connections, and sifts through biblical theology to reclaim what has been lost through the centuries. Beyond a rearticulation of past wisdom, Kuruvilla offers fresh insights, showing preachers what they can aim for as an ideal in their preaching. He enables preachers to have a better conception of what it means to preach, a fuller understanding of the divinely granted privilege of preaching, and a greater excitement for the preaching ministry. Concluding biblical reflections reinforce the teaching of each chapter.

Introduction: "The Entrance of Thy Words . . ."
1. Preaching Is Biblical
2. Preaching Is Pastoral
3. Preaching Is Ecclesial
4. Preaching Is Communicational
5. Preaching Is Theological
6. Preaching Is Applicational
7. Preaching Is Conformational
8. Preaching Is Doxological
9. Preaching Is Spiritual
Conclusion: ". . . Giveth Light"


"Building on earlier work, Kuruvilla offers a systematic and readable vision for the preparation of sermons and especially the preparation of preachers as they wrestle with the biblical text. Rightly arguing that the key to authoritative preaching is grasping the originally intended theological meanings of biblical texts, the author challenges us to take the Scriptures seriously and to read the Bible forward rather than backward."

Daniel Block, Gunther H. Knoedler Professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College; author of For the Glory of God

"Kuruvilla is one of the best homiletical thinkers today; he reads widely and writes clearly. In this book he argues that preachers must discern a biblical author's theological intent in order to make valid and specific applications that will help conform listeners to Christ and bring glory to God. Kuruvilla has given us a vision for preaching that is insightful, comprehensive, and compelling."

Donald R. Sunukjian, professor of preaching, Talbot School of Theology

"In A Vision for Preaching, homiletics scholar Abraham Kuruvilla offers a compelling vision of what preaching is and can be, unpacking that vision through a series of chapters that explore what it means to be a biblical preacher. As he analyzes preaching through various lenses, he offers those who proclaim God's Word a useful and encouraging vision through which to interpret their own calling and task."

Michael Duduit, executive editor, Preaching magazine; dean, College of Christian Studies and Clamp Divinity School, Anderson University

"Many authors of books on homiletics propose proprietary definitions of preaching that demand too many specific sermon elements. Kuruvilla, however, sees the big picture. His vision is broad enough to embrace a spectrum of preaching objectives while remaining focused on the inspired words of Scripture. No book presents a better balance of heart and head, spirit and truth, and orthodoxy and orthopraxy than A Vision for Preaching."

Hershael W. York, Victor and Louise Lester Professor of Preaching, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

"It is common for pastors to articulate vision statements for their churches, but it might also be helpful for pastors to describe a vision for their preaching. Kuruvilla, a leading homiletician, has thought through how he sees the task. A Vision for Preaching is well researched, thoughtful, and sometimes controversial, but fully worth consideration."

Kenton C. Anderson, professor of homiletics, ACTS Seminaries of Trinity Western University; president, Northwest Baptist Seminary

"Abraham Kuruvilla provides a compelling vision that challenges preachers to lift their sights higher in the preaching task--a challenge worth considering!"

Scott M. Gibson, Haddon W. Robinson Professor of Preaching and Ministry, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

The Author

  1. Abraham Kuruvilla

    Abraham Kuruvilla

    Abraham Kuruvilla (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is the Carl E. Bates Professor of Christian Preaching at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He previously served as senior research professor of preaching and pastoral ministries at Dallas Theological...

    Continue reading about Abraham Kuruvilla


Preaching Today 2016 Book Award (Editor's Choice)

"This work develops a biblically grounded, theologically developed vision of preaching as pastoral ministry. . . . A thoughtful and inspirational masterwork in evangelical homiletics."

Geoffrey Stevenson,

Expository Times

"This book by Kuruvilla is certainly a worthy addition to the field of homiletics. He is working to develop a particular approach to Scripture. . . . Specifically, his focus has been on theological hermeneutics, or, stated differently, getting from text to theology to application. Oftentimes the way in which this process goes forward can be somewhat convoluted in preaching textbooks, but Kuruvilla makes fairly plain both the need and the way in which the preacher can successfully walk through this process. . . . Kuruvilla's work helps readers tie together the worlds of hermeneutics, growth in the Christian life, Trinitarianism, ecclesiology, and homiletics. This is an ideal work for scholars in the field of homiletics, but even more so for current and aspiring pastors."

Jeremy Kimble,


"The high point of Kuruvilla's approach to preaching is his emphasis that all of Scripture is valuable and should be preached. Preachers, although relying on the Holy Spirit, should work hard to preach every facet of the Scriptures. Another strong point of Kuruvilla's book is his insistence that there is no difference between ordained clergy and other believers; between sacred and secular. . . . Kuruvilla's compelling and relevant illustrations beginning every chapter are helpful. New students of theology and pastors lacking a strong educational background will be able to understand Kuruvilla's perspective on preaching with the illustrations that start each chapter. . . . A helpful tool for theologians of all kinds, especially for preachers with little or no theological training. . . . Kuruvilla's vision for preaching should be read by every good preacher and those aspiring to be good preachers."

Darshak Toma,

Calvin Theological Journal

"Kuruvilla's vision for preaching is a vision worth catching. His vision is to move preachers closer to the text, to honor and communicate what the biblical author is doing with what he/she has written in order to help people become more like Christ and thereby glorify God. Kuruvilla is right. This is what preaching should do."

Jeff Hampton,

Southwestern Journal of Theology

"I . . . recommend this book so the pastor/teacher can see the importance of expositional preaching as it relates to pastoral ministry. Kuruvilla offers a vision for preaching that puts great emphasis on arriving at the truth of a text so that the congregation understands and makes application to their lives. His vision speaks to the tremendous responsibility that preachers have in delivering a Word from the Lord. These are truths that all preachers must ponder."

Bo Rice,

Journal for Baptist Theology and Ministry