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.


  • Free Stuff Fridays (TMAI)

    This week’s Free Stuff Fridays is sponsored by The Master’s Academy International (TMAI). They are giving away the 42-volume Essential MacArthur Library set. The Master’s Academy International (TMAI) is a worldwide network of pastoral training centers that equip indigenous church leaders to preach the word and shepherd their people. They have 19 Training Centers around…

  • The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    The Danger and Necessity of a Passion for Church Growth

    Quite a long time has passed since we witnessed the unexpected rise of a new kind of Calvinism. Few had anticipated that in the twenty-first century, so many millions of people spanning a host of nations and traditions would find themselves affirming such old and controversial doctrines. Yet many did so because they were wary…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (July 12)

    A La Carte: John Piper on repetitive worship songs / Jen Wilkin says not to fear the marks in Revelation / Carl Trueman’s hope beyond politics in Europe / Bruce Ware on angels and free will / Samuel Davies’ tragic children / Book deals / and more.

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (July 11)

    A La Carte: The Disney princess whose heart isn’t worth following / Words of mercy and grace when we disagree / Ten reasons why the Bible is the greatest of great books / Why balance is bad for pastors / The earliest record of Jesus’s childhood / and more.

  • Cognitive Decline and Common Faults

    Cognitive Decline and Common Faults

    When visiting a far-off church, I met a man who, with sadness, told me about his father’s final sermon. A lifelong pastor and preacher, his father had withdrawn from full-time ministry several years prior, but still preached from time to time. On this Sunday he took to the pulpit, read his text, and gave his…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (July 10)

    A La Carte: How the GOP became pro-choice / Forgive, and be forgiven / 10 non-cringy faith-based movies / The practice of arranged marriages / Do I share the gospel now? / How to show Mormon missionaries that the Bible contradicts their gospel / and more.