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John Woods – God is in the House: A fresh model for shaping a sermon

Langham Preaching Resources (Langham Publishing)

ISBN 978-1-83973-272-0

226 pages

£14.99

Neither the enigmatic title God is in the house, nor the dry subtitle A fresh model for shaping a sermon suggest either the range or riches of John Woods' excellent book.

What in fact we have is an exciting and invigorating work about preaching that approaches the topic through various images to do with building. It may sound an odd approach, but in John's skilled and experienced hands, it really works.

Particularly exciting is the way that this is no radical manifesto for replacing the traditional sermon with some novelty of post-modern communication theory, but rather a well-argued programme for reviving and reshaping Bible-based preaching.

This is a book of many and varied strengths. Although it doesn't cover every area of preaching - which single book could? - there is here an enormous breadth. There is a tremendous and wide-ranging wisdom, drawn both from John's own vast experience or his extensive reading.

There's wise practical counsel, numerous thought-provoking hints, encouragements for prayer in preaching, helpful sample sermons and even thoughts on the impact of Covid on how we preach.

This is a book of such richness that it demands attention, reflection, and prayer; something encouraged by the presence of probing questions at the end of each chapter. The ideal setting for this book is some sort of preaching group that can discuss it chapter by chapter and go away and consider it.

This is a wonderful resource both for those who are setting out as preachers and those who have been preaching for years. I have been preaching for 42 years and I learned a lot! In church settings I would recommend it as essential reading to all those who preach.

At the start John says his book is not a banquet, but more a tapas meal. Possibly, but it's a tapas meal splendid enough to make the table creak! Heartily recommended - I give it five stars!

Canon J John, Philo Trust

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