Why Johnny Can’t Preach
The Media Have Shaped the Messengers
Author T. David Gordon has identified some serious problems, one that affects all in our generation and earnestly needs to be fixed: our preaching is just not communicating properly much of the time. Fortunately, Gordon not only explains the causes of this failure but has direction on how to change.
“An insightful diagnosis of a serious problem in the life of the church. For this we should be grateful, as we shoudl for the way out of the crisis to which this book ably points.” — David Wells, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
A Review from Ben Zornes
If you are concerned at all about the state of preaching in the modern church this will be an encouraging and convicting book. Gordon aims not only at preachers but congregations as he exhorts the church to avoid the cultural tendency to have short attention spans and the inability to follow an argument or narrative closely.
This is a short book, but really worth your time. You should be able to breeze through it in a sitting or two. Gordon wrote this book as he was undergoing cancer treatment, and the tone of it is that of a man facing eternity. Gordon beat his cancer, and as a result of his suffering he has left us an impassioned plea to both preachers and congregants to recognize the importance of preaching and to not neglect pursuing maturity in both delivering and receiving sermons. I highly commend this book!
Some Quotes from the book:
Our sheep do not need gourmet meals. But they do need good, solid nourishment, and they are not ordinarily getting it.
Christians in many churches today have never experienced genuinely soul-nourishing preaching, and so they just pick away at what is available to them, trying to find a morsel of spiritual sustenance or helpful counsel here or there.
The harder it is for you to slow down, the more you need to be rescued from the twentieth century; the more you need poetry.
The poet stops and stares at that which most of us merely glance at; he pauses to notice what is humane, significant, and important.
But it is never appropriate, in my estimation, for one word of moral counsel ever to proceed from a Christian pulpit that is not clearly, in its context, redemptive.
Some of the neo-Puritans have apparently determined that the purpose and essence of Christian preaching is to persuade people that they do not, in fact, believe.
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: Johnny Can’t Preach
Chapter 2: Why Johnny Can’t Preach, Part 1:
Johnny Can’t Read (Texts)
Chapter 3: Why Johnny Can’t Preach, Part 2:
Johnny Can’t Write
4. A Few Thoughts about Content
5. Teaching Johnny to Preach
About the Author
T. David Gordon has been professor of religion and Greek at Grove City College since 1999. Previously, he was an associate professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary for fourteen years and pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church (Nashua, New Hampshire) for nine years.