In a word, where this is good it is very good, and where it is bad it is very bad. Peter Adam vigorously defends the importance of the Word of God as central to the task of preaching, and that preaching ought not be restricted to the pulpit. A pastor’s ministry is that of the Word, and this means, in our postmodern culture, that he must declare that God has spoken and the “it is written”. I greatly appreciated this reminder of such a foundational truth for preachers; we must never veer from the Word of God as our standard, and that which we are to declare.
That said, Adam seems to make room for ordained women preachers, which, given the theme of the rest of the book, seems wildly out of place. If we are to look to Scripture as the standard, we don’t get to cherry pick based on what is culturally acceptable or not.
Furthermore, there were sections so pedantic that it would make an insomniac sleep; I did appreciate that he consistently referenced Scripture to make his case; but I wish there were a bit more heat in his writing. It was a bowl of grape nuts, when the topic called for bacon and eggs. Certain sections made this worth the read; and other sections remind me why I’m not Anglican.
A few quotes:
The postmodern move against meaning in words, and against words themselves, is part of an attempt to create not only a world without God but a universe without meaning. The first great theological foundation for preaching is that God has spoken. Preaching is essentially a corporate activity and its most useful aim is corporate edification. I argue for a ministry that is pulpit-centered, but not pulpit restricted. I am not saying that we should preach and teach Christ rather than preaching and teaching the Bible, but that we teach the Bible with the purpose of preaching Christ. God chews up our food for us, by providing us with preachers, so that we can more easily digest his words to us in Scripture. To be servants of the Word it is not enough to love preaching: we have to love people.