"Preaching & Preachers" by D. Martin Lloyd-Jones
4 out of 5 stars.
This book contains many practical nuggets of wisdom for preaching. If you are looking for a "idiot's guide to preaching" type book that tells you how to put together an outline, and how to write an expository sermon, and things like that, then this book is not for you. The author of the book believes such things are abominations, and wreaks of "professionalism." He rather chooses to focus on the character of the preacher, and the character of the message.
The only possibly weakness I have really discerned with the book is that while the author in the last chapter states that he believes that true preaching will always be done in the power of the Holy Spirit, and that one should only seek to preach with that power, he seems to resign himself to the professional mentality which he greatly abhors. He seems to think it ok that if God hasn't given you anything to preach by Sunday, it's ok to open up your collection of sermons (or somebody else's sermon) and to try to preach out of that.
Frankly though, I believe such wreaks of "professionalism" and attempting to simply do a "job." A preacher should never attempt to preach without the "unction" of the Holy Spirit. If he does, then he is preaching a dead and lifeless message, and is simply being a "professional." Is there only one person in the entire congregation that is responsible and capable of hearing from the Lord, and speaking for Him? The author seems to think so.
I find it odd that he recalls several famous preachers who were involved in various revivals. He says that they began preaching like they never had before, with great power. But when the revival was over, they simply were "ordinary," powerless preachers. The author seems to not have any problem with this. However, if one is a "professional" then preaching without the unction of the Holy Spirit is acceptable, and preaching with the power of the Holy Spirit would be more like just an added bonus/benefit. No preacher should ever attempt to preach without the power of the Holy Spirit.
However, besides this one main point of contention I have with the author, I find the book to be a fun, enjoyable, and edifying read, and it should be on the shelf of probably every preacher. One will discover many valuable nuggets in this book.