Book Review - Passion in the Pulpit by Dr. Jerry Vines and Dr. Adam Dooley
Having read both of Dr. Vines’ other volumes in this trilogy of preaching, Power in the Pulpit and Progress in the Pulpit, I believe that Passion in the Pulpit is a worthy addition to these works. Dr. Vines continues to immensely bless the church through his practical writings, but it is Dr. Dooley who truly gives some incredibly well thought out considerations in dealing with pathos in the pulpit. As a fellow preacher, I have often considered whether I was preaching to the best of God’s gifting in me or not, this book helped me deal with some of my shortcomings and I am thankful to say that I have already seen a difference in my preaching.
The main crux of this book revolves around the idea of expressing the emotion of the passage. Often when emotion and preaching are talked about in the same sentence, it revolves around the emotion of the preacher. Dr. Dooley guides the reader to understand that it is incorrect to preach from your own emotion, rather the faithful preacher should preach the emotion inherent within the text. The Word of God was not written in a vacuum, it was written in a real place and time by real men who expressed inspired emotion as they wrote what God intended. this was a personal revelation, truly expositional preaching requires faithfully preaching that emotion in the text.
There are many errors and hurdles one can face in attempting to preach as Dr. Dooley and Dr. Vines instruct in this volume, but like faithful shepherds, the authors walk the reader step-by- step through the process in avoid these dangers. Any preacher would be benefited by reading and taking notes through this book. While perhaps there are better singular books on these topics of Power, Progress, and Passion in the Pulpit, there is no better series of books on the subject. Every pastor should have these books on his shelf, both for his own good and the good of those whom he would train to preach faithfully. Oh, and don’t skip Dr. York’s forward!