Reformed Preaching: Proclaiming God's Word from the Heart of the Preacher to the Heart of His People

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Joel Beeke

Preaching today all too often tragically misses the point.

We’ve all heard sermons that sound more like a lecture, filling the head but not the heart. And we’ve all heard sermons tailored to produce an emotional experience, filling the heart but not the head. But biblical preaching both informs minds and engages hearts—giving it the power to transform lives. By the Spirit’s grace, biblical preaching brings truth home from the heart of the preacher to the heart of the hearer.

Joel Beeke—a pastor and professor of preaching with over four decades of experience—explores the fundamental principles of Reformed experiential preaching, examining sermons by preachers from the past and bridging the historical gap by showing pastors what the preaching of God’s life-transforming truth looks like today.

Pages: 512
Publication Date: October 2018
Topic: Pastoral Ministry, Preaching

Table of Contents: 

Foreword by Sinclair B. Ferguson
Preface and Acknowledgments

Part One: Reformed Experiential Preaching Defined and Described

1. What Is Reformed Experiential Preaching?
2. Preaching from Head to Heart
3. Major Elements of Reformed Experiential Preaching
4. The Experiential Preacher

Part Two: Reformed Experiential Preaching Illustrated
5. Reformation Preachers: Zwingli, Bullinger, and Oecolampadius
6. Reformation Preachers: Calvin
7. Reformation Preachers: Beza
8. Introduction to Puritan Preaching
6. Puritan Preachers: Perkins
10. Puritan Preachers: Rogers, Sibbes, and Preston
11. The Westminster Directory and Preaching
12. Puritan Preachers: Goodwin and Shepard
13. Puritan Preachers: Bunyan
14. Introduction to the Dutch Further Reformation
15. Dutch Preachers: Teellinck, van Lodenstein, and à Brakel
16. Dutch Reformed Preaching in America: Frelinghuysen
17. Eighteenth-Century Preachers: Halyburton, Edwards, and Davies
18. Nineteenth-Century Preachers: Alexander, M`Cheyne, and Ryle
19. Twentieth-Century Preachers: Wisse and Lloyd-Jones

Part Three: Preaching Experientially Today
20. Preaching with Balance
21. Application Starts with the Preacher
22. Effective Preaching about God and Man
23. Preaching the Gospel to the Heart
24. Preaching for Holiness

General Index
Scripture Index


“Heart to heart: this is the preaching that ‘cuts us to the quick’ and applies the balm of Gilead. And it is marvelously modeled in this book. Having appreciated every sermon I’ve heard from Joel Beeke, I am sure that you will discern a refreshing connection between doctrine, experience, and life in his writing.”

Michael Horton
J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics
Westminster Seminary California; author, Justification (New Studies in Dogmatics)

Reformed Preaching is unique for its emphasis on learning to preach experientially from the Reformers and their theological successors through the centuries. Joel Beeke convincingly shows that Reformed preaching is doctrinally sound, profoundly personal, and effectively practical. Far from being a contemporary model, this work presents the preaching of the Reformation, which encompasses head, heart, and hands, as the enduring way to proclaim Scripture. This is a very foundational understanding of the Reformation impact on the history of the church.”

John MacArthur 
Pastor, Grace Community Church, Sun Valley, California
President, The Master’s University and Seminary

“Faithful preaching is intimately bound up with the heartbeat of faithful Christian living. The proof of this is seen throughout the history of the church. Wills, affections, lives, churches, and entire communities have been transformed when the proclamation of God’s Word has reached beyond the mind to the heart. This was true during the Protestant Reformation, was repeated under the influence of the Puritans, and has been witnessed during times of revival. Joel Beeke mines the theology and practice of the great preacher-pastor-theologians of the past in a way that is guaranteed to bless and equip those who carry the baton for the generation they serve in the present and beyond.”

Mark G. Johnston
Minister, Bethel Presbyterian Church, Cardiff, United Kingdom

“It has been one of the great privileges of my life to teach homiletics alongside Joel Beeke at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary for the past ten years. I’ve not only witnessed his expertise and passion for the subject, but I’ve also seen and felt the ministry-transforming effects of this upon my own preaching, as well as upon hundreds of students from all over the world. It’s a joyful answer to prayer to see his lectures now in print for the benefit of thousands more preachers of the gospel.”

David Murray
Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology
Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary

“In this latest book, Joel Beeke warmly welcomes us into his pulpit, his study, and even the place of his private prayers. To accept his invitation is to discover what it means for a sermon to offer both light and heat, and to learn how to preach the gospel as food for the hungry rather than as dessert for the deserving. In Reformed Preaching, Beeke introduces favorite figures from church history to form a composite picture of the experiential expositor. Even experienced expositors will find much to learn in this book from both the author and his friends.”

Chad Van Dixhoorn
Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary