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Preach: Theology Meets Practice

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  355 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Mark Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, and president of 9Marks, is widely respected for his efforts to build biblically faithful churches in America that will impact the nations. In this book about one of the practical distinctives of that work, Dever and his former student Greg Gilbert offer a theological and practical guide ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by B Books (first published March 5th 2012)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
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Demetrius Rogers
Jul 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: ministry, preaching
I liked it. A good solid intro to biblical exposition.

The authors introduced me to a new concept of high-altitude preaching. Most of the time expository preaching takes a relatively short text, one verse at a time, hence, low altitude. But, high-altitude sermons treat bigger swaths of Scripture at a time. For example, Greg Gilbert included one of his sermon manuscripts in the book, and his text was Genesis 37-50. This high altitude approach is to back away from the details of a text and to
Jul 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: religious
Technically, this book offers nothing new to conservative preachers in regards to preaching and sermon prep. However, I was greatly interested in the critical process that takes place after sermons. I see the great benefit in having your peers help you become a better communicator of the Word.
Nate H
Nov 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dever and Gilbert's vision of preaching

This is a helpful book of tips for improving preaching by Greg and Mark. I have a different vision of what pulpit ministry ought to be so this book wasn't to my liking, but I acknowledge it can be of help. It's a bit like what I imagine a crash course through their pastoral internship programs might be like. The easiest way to see if you'll gain from this book and listen to sermons from Greg Gilbert and Mark Dever to see if they're guys you'd want to
Peter Jones
Jul 19, 2012 rated it liked it
This is more like 3.5 stars. The book was good, but not great. Basic information on why preaching is important and how to prepare and deliver sermons. Of course, both of these men are better preachers than me, but that does not make the book great. There are better preaching books to dig into.

I felt like they wrote too much to large church situations where there are dozens of visitors/non-christians each week. What if I have the same basic set up week after week with occasional visitors? A lot
Calvin Coulter
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
I love Mark Dever, I also love reading books on preaching, how we need help, but if you're going to add to the number of excellent volumes already available, then you really have to add something new or of significant value to the field to make it worth while. With the exception of the piece on sermon and service review carried out at Capitol Hill, I regret to say there was nothing new here. Come to think of it, that piece was covered pretty well in other 9 marks publications, so didn't even ...more
Michael Locklear
Finished "Preach" this morning.
As a preacher and communicator, I have been enriched from reading and thinking about the various suggestions offered. And I truly believe my congregation will be blessed because I have spent time in "Preach."
I would recommend this book to any and all who stand before a congregation and proclaim God's Word.
David Rathel
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book performs double duty. First, from a theological perspective, it defends the necessity of expository preaching. Second, it gives a helpful overview of how to prepare, deliver, and review sermons.

I found it to be an encouraging and helpful read!
Brandon Siwula
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Great book! Dever always seems to make what he writes simple and very organized. This book will help me solidify things I already am doing in my preaching and has even given me some new things to try. This is the book I am going to have all of my students who want to learn how to preach read.
Jeff Short
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pastoral, preaching
Seldom does any book stand as a definitive and exhaustive treatment of its subject. Looking for such a book is often a futile effort. Typically, the value of a book will lie in the way it fits into the gaps and contributes to a larger subject. That is why I think this book is so worthy of attention. It is certainly not an exhaustive treatment on preaching, nor a technical how-to in preparing and delivering sermons. It is a good practical discussion on preaching.

This book is particularly helpful
Elisha Lawrence
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Dever & Gilbert wrote this book about preaching- why we do it and how to do it. The book has three sections: theology, practice and sermon transcripts. Theology is the why we do it and practice is how we do it. The sermon transcripts section, they took actual sermons of theirs and critiqued one another.

This book is definitely for pastors, particularly teaching pastors. I read it to keep evaluating whether I should move toward being a teaching pastor and to grow in an area where I need lots
C.J. Moore
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
The best part about this book is getting the viewpoint of two different preachers. Each one is a great expositor, but you get to see how they each prepare in a different way. It helped me understand that I don't have to "fit the mold" of a particular preacher. I can be myself in the pulpit and in my preparation. I'm also glad they included sample sermons at the end and how they critique themselves and one another.
Todd Bryant
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quite a good book. This is not an über in-depth instructional book like Haddon Robinson’s “Biblical Preaching”. It isn’t meant to be. But it does offer many great tools and wonderful instructions for a preacher. The main point of this book is that the Holy Spirit uses His Word, not ours. So, preachers needs to preach it. I cannot imagine every elder in every church not benefiting greatly from reading this book.
Josh Robinson
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid little book that I was able to read in just a few hours. The first section on the theology of preaching was fantastic. The second section on the practice of preaching was extremely helpful. I always enjoy learning about the methods and practices of others, especially if I'm able to make some of those methods and practices my own. Gave it four stars was because of grammatical and formatting errors.
Marc Minter
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is in the top 2-3 books I've read related to pastoral ministry. Preaching is not the only thing pastors do, but it is the task that should take the lion's share of a pastor's time and effort. This book is biblically grounded, practical, and realistically flexible in its application to the individual pastor.

If you are a pastor, want to be a pastor, or if you ever intend to preach, then this book will be a great benefit to you.
Andrew Smith
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this book to get a handle on what "expositional preaching" is. One takeaway is that people really want to understand the Bible better. I just think the difference between 45 min "messages" in the evangelical context and a 17 minute sermon in the Lutheran context is quite a large difference. It did make me reassess a little how I approach a text to get a central thought.
Justin Likens
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good stuff for preachers to read and think through when putting messages together.
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5–5 stars
Matthew Ralston
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book to learn the right fundamentals of Biblical preaching! Moore of that topical stuff!
Sean McGowan
Very helpful and practical. One of the highlights was the godly criticisms that they employed on one another's sermons. Recommended!
Daniel Henderson
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Helpful. I especially loved the sermon review in the back section.
Harold Cameron
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
“Mark Dever, senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, and president of 9Marks, is widely respected for his efforts to build biblically faithful churches in America that will impact the nations. In this book about one of the practical distinctives of that work, Dever and his former student Greg Gilbert offer a theological and practical guide emphasizing the centrality of expositional preaching -- sermons intentionally rooted in a specific Bible text.

Dever and Gilbert
Rob O'Lynn
Feb 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: preaching
I have to be honest: I am still not sure if I like or dislike this book. I read it because books from the 9Marks series are showing up on a lot of ministers' "must-read" lists. I already (and dismissed) *Expositional Preaching* by David Helm, however I thought this volume (being the original preaching volume) would be better.

In some regards, I liked this book. I liked the authors' emphasis on expository preaching. We live in a post-literate age when it comes to the Bible, thus text-based
David Steele
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mark Dever and Greg Gilbert love the church of Jesus Christ. Whenever one of their books is released, it becomes immediately clear that a love for Christ's church and the gospel are at the very core of each man. For example, I give a copy of Greg Gilbert's excellent work, What is the Gospel? to each baptismal candidate at the church I pastor. It's that good! So when Dever and Gilbert combine their collective experience and wisdom in order to write a book on preaching, my attention is ...more
Starla Gooch
Dec 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
Preach: Theology Meets Practice is a fine read, but would not be my first recommendation for books on preaching.

In regards to theology, Dever and Gilbert do an excellent job communicating the importance of preaching and the role it plays in the local church. Perhaps I appreciate this text the most for its emphasis on God being set apart, because he is a God who speaks. My only criticism with the theology is that Dever and Gilbert suggest that the most important part of the local church is
Brian Watson
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book on preaching by Dever and Gilbert. (I'm guessing much of it was written by Gilbert, but that's not clear.) It's an easy read, but it covers good ground. They start with a theology of preaching, probably because they feel it is necessary to defend the preaching of God's Word, as opposed to getting in the pulpit to tell a story or simply comment on the week's news. I didn't find this opening section very interesting, probably because the information is not new to me. The ...more
Jason Custer
Jul 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Overall a good book on preaching, but you'd be better off reading Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon or Preaching and Preachers if you were to pick only one book on preaching.

The real thing this book adds to the discussion of preaching is in chapter 9 - where Dever and Gilbert outline a method for "Reviewing the Sermon." Then the last part of the book is a transcript of two sermons and their critiques of each other's sermons. No other book on preaching that I have read
Tyler Recker
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
3 to 4 depending on what you are trying to get out of it...

I appreciated that this book gave me a number of new things to consider. So, I picked up a few points here and there that were great (vary your altitude is an excellent thought, importance of introductions is excellent, hearing things that thy are intentional about is great.). Other things were more basic.

I think the reader that is early on in ministry and is trying to develop a full theology of preaching will find this a great read from
Ben Duncan
This book is divided into three sections. The first section explores the importance of preaching and includes an argument for expositional preaching. The second section discusses how to craft a sermon. The third section consists of a sermon manuscript from each of the authors with the text of the sermon interrupted by dialogue between the two of them.

A very basic, unexceptional book. The best section was the first, but even then it is outclassed by other books devoted entirely to the importance
Justin Orman
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Basic level book on preaching. First part covers why we preach: that is, the biblical foundation and overall focus of it. Second part deals with practical issues in regards to preparing sermons - I was convicted about aspects of sermon preparation that I fail to do as well as I should. I skimmed the final section which was sermon transcripts by the two authors with critiques by the other author throughout. I found this book helpful if not particularly groundbreaking. But preaching is simple and ...more
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
A brief but fairly concise overview of what you might learn in any seminary or Bible school preaching and teaching class. The authors are humble and honest about their approaches and failings, past and present, and do a good job of making their case. For me, the book was stronger in the earlier chapters when the present WHAT solid, Biblical preaching is and does, and a little weaker in the latter chapters when they give their personal advice on how to structure and write the message. Worth ...more
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Mark Dever serves as the senior pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC. Since his ordination to the ministry in 1985, Dr. Dever has served on the pastoral staffs of four churches, the second being a church he planted in Massachusetts. Prior to moving to Washington in 1994, Dr. Dever taught for the faculty of Divinity at Cambridge University while serving two years as an associate ...more
“Too many churches today have preachers who look to the culture around them not simply for the most effective methods of communicating their message but for the most effective message to be preached.” 1 likes
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