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The Worlds of the Preacher

Navigating Biblical, Cultural, and Personal Contexts

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Building on Haddon Robinson's philosophical approach to preaching, this book brings together accomplished evangelical preachers and teachers to help students and pastors understand the worlds--biblical, cultural, and personal--that influence and impact their preaching. The contributors explore the various inner and outer worlds in which a preacher functions with the goal of helping preachers sharpen their craft. Foreword by Bryan Chapell.

Foreword by Bryan Chapell
Introduction: A Tribute to Haddon Robinson Scott M. Gibson
1. The Worlds of the Preacher Haddon W. Robinson
2. The Preacher and the World of the Old Testament Steven D. Mathewson
3. The Preacher and the World of the New Testament Duane Litfin
4. The Preacher's Personal World Scott M. Gibson
5. The World of Ethnic and Cultural Issues in Preaching Matthew D. Kim
6. The Worlds of the Listener Jeffrey Arthurs
7. Preaching in This Present World Patricia M. Batten
8. The Mission of Preaching in This World Victor D. Anderson
9. The World of History and the Task of Preaching Scott Wenig
10. Preaching to a Culture Dominated by Images Donald R. Sunukjian
Afterword: The Worlds of the Preacher Scott M. Gibson


"Few, if any, have so positively influenced the work of preaching in recent memory as did Haddon Robinson, whose Biblical Preaching is a classic that has been and still is studied in countless colleges and seminaries. With his passing we have lost a giant of the homiletical world, but through the book The Worlds of the Preacher we have a remarkable piece of Haddon's legacy that will bless a new generation of preachers. This volume is a tribute to Haddon in that his students and colleagues further develop his insights on the context of the preaching task. Anyone who preaches or teaches the Word of God will be blessed and encouraged by this outstanding volume."

Michael Duduit, executive editor, Preaching magazine; dean, Clamp Divinity School, Anderson University

"Once in a while God drops someone into our experience who upends our assumptions about life and ministry. For me that was Haddon Robinson. We worked together closely for thirty-three years--at two seminaries and on the radio as coteachers for Discover the Word. In this book, Scott Gibson and his coauthors accurately capture the many-faceted contributions Haddon has made in the field of homiletics. Such a book could simply be a paean to its subject, but not so in this case. Each author explores some essential part of Haddon's philosophy of preaching and brings the reader concrete help in forming and delivering sermons relevant to today's world. I highly recommend this book to preachers everywhere for its practical help in crafting sermons that touch and change listeners' understanding of God's Word. Haddon's legacy is in good hands."

Alice Mathews, Lois W. Bennett Distinguished Professor Emerita of Educational Ministries and Women's Ministries, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; author of Preaching That Speaks to Women

"Scott Gibson by training, theory, and practice stands in a rare place to discuss the complex intersection of text, history, context, communication, and mission. His erudition, practical experience, and wisdom hand us a volume for our times. He has selected a top-tier panel of interpreters to help the reader navigate the crosscurrents that push and pull the contemporary proclaimer. Preaching has always been a complex task, and that challenge only escalates. This contribution gives a homiletical GPS for those who ride the pulpit in stormy weather."

Joel C. Gregory, professor of preaching and George W. Truett Endowed Chair of Preaching and Evangelism, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University

"Here is a book on preaching that is different from most books on preaching. Honoring the homiletical ministry of Haddon Robinson, ten of his colleagues and friends dilate on his famous lecture that forms the title of this volume. Effective preaching means living in the worlds of the Bible, contemporary culture, our hearers, and ourselves. When these intersect, the preacher is most effective. This is a welcome and insightful volume that will enhance your preaching and enrich your ministry. Take up and read!"

David L. Allen, dean, School of Preaching, distinguished professor of preaching, director of the Center for Expository Preaching, George W. Truett Chair of Ministry, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

"Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote of the importance of 'worldly' preaching that speaks God's truth into the contemporary context. This excellent book will make preachers aware of the many worlds that shape the sermon. From the world of the text to the world of the preacher to the multiform world of cultural diversity, today's sermon enters a landscape that is more like a universe than a single world. Skillfully written by some of the best minds and voices in homiletics, this book will stretch your thinking and improve your preaching. I am happy to recommend it."

John Koessler, author of Folly, Grace, and Power: The Mysterious Act of Preaching

"I first 'met' Haddon Robinson in Bible college when I read his seminal text on preaching. Through his book Biblical Preaching, he discipled me in preaching, impressing upon me the need to be simple, not shallow, and to connect Sunday to Monday. What Yoda was to Luke Skywalker and a generation of Jedi, Haddon Robinson is to today's preacher. While the Skywalkers of the pulpit receive inordinate praise, I'm grateful to my friend Scott Gibson for calling attention to this great Yoda of preaching and preachers."

Bryan Loritts, senior pastor, Abundant Life Christian Fellowship; author of Saving the Saved

The Author

  1. Scott M. Gibson

    Scott M. Gibson

    Scott M. Gibson (DPhil, University of Oxford) is the David E. Garland Chair of Preaching and director of the PhD program in preaching at George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University, in Waco, Texas. He previously served as the Haddon W....

    Continue reading about Scott M. Gibson


"The Worlds of the Preacher is packed with helpful insights for both novice and veteran preachers. Anyone who teaches or preaches the Word of God will be blessed and encouraged by this outstanding volume."

Michael Duduit,