Skip to content ↓

Book Review – Rediscovering Expository Preaching

Book Reviews Collection cover image

Though I am not a preacher, I decided to read Rediscovering Expository Preaching in an attempt to discover exactly what expository preaching is and compare it to the type of teaching practiced in most modern churches. That this book was written by John MacArthur and the faculty of Master’s seminary is a strong endorsement of its value, for that institution is known as being one that upholds the value of expositional teaching. I hoped also that I would learn some techniques and disciplines that would enrich my personal Bible study as well as my writing. I was not disappointed.

Effective exposition of the Bible requires four steps and each of these receives careful analysis in this book. The steps are:

  • Personal preparation. This involves ensuring that the expositor is walking with the Lord. He must be dedicated to studying the Word and to prayer as well as other spiritual disciplines. Proper exposition cannot be done apart from the Spirit who alone can illumine the text.
  • Processing the Biblical text. This involves using study tools, engaging in hermeneutics and exegesis and generally drawing the meaning from the text in a biblical manner.
  • Pulling the message together. This involves determining the central ideas of a text and drawing up an outline. It involves an effective introduction and conclusion and moving from exegesis to exposition.
  • Preaching the exposition. This involves actually delivering the message in an effective manner.

Each of these steps is explained in sufficient, though not burdensome detail. Nine authors combined to write the nineteen chapters, and while some are more effective communicators than others, each does a good job of handling his topic.

While this book is clearly aimed at the aspiring pastor or to pastors who are attempting to make their messages expository, there is still value in reading it for people who are not pastors. Many of the principles of hermeneutics and exegesis are important for all believers to understand thoroughly in order to effectively interpret and apply the Word of God. While not all of the information will pertain to these readers, those parts can be passed over without losing the value of the book.

I recommend this book for the targeted audience (pastors and aspiring pastors) but also for lay people who are interested in learning Biblical methods of hermeneutics and exegesis. That being said, there are other options that may be better-suited for these people, such as How To Interpret the Bible For Yourself by Richard Mayhue.


  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    Weekend A La Carte (April 20)

    A La Carte: Living counterculturally during election season / Borrowing a death / The many ministries of godly women / When we lose loved ones and have regrets / Ethnicity and race and the colorblindness question / The case for children’s worship services / and more.

  • The Anxious Generation

    The Great Rewiring of Childhood

    I know I’m getting old and all that, and I’m aware this means that I’ll be tempted to look unfavorably at people who are younger than myself. I know I’ll be tempted to consider what people were like when I was young and to stand in judgment of what people are like today. Yet even…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (April 19)

    A La Carte: The gateway drug to post-Christian paganism / You and I probably would have been nazis / Be doers of my preference / God can work through anyone and everything / the Bible does not say God is trans / Kindle deals / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (April 18)

    A La Carte: Good cop bad cop in the home / What was Paul’s thorn in the flesh? / The sacrifices of virtual church / A neglected discipleship tool / A NT passage that’s older than the NT / Quite … able to communicate / and more.

  • a One-Talent Christian

    It’s Okay To Be a Two-Talent Christian

    It is for good reason that we have both the concept and the word average. To be average is to be typical, to be—when measured against points of comparison—rather unremarkable. It’s a truism that most of us are, in most ways, average. The average one of us is of average ability, has average looks, will…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (April 17)

    A La Carte: GenZ and the draw to serious faith / Your faith is secondhand / It’s just a distraction / You don’t need a bucket list / The story we keep telling / Before cancer, death was just other people’s reality / and more.