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Between Two Worlds: The Challenge of Preaching Today

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  1,065 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Stott's modern classic, Between Two Worlds, argues that there is a chasm between the biblical world and the modern world. This chasm is bridged through the preaching and proclamation of the Word of God. It is the preacher, empowered through the Spirit, who stands in the gap between these two worlds. It is through preaching whereby the world of the Bible is brought into the ...more
Unknown Binding, 351 pages
Published May 18th 1982 by Eerdmans (first published 1982)
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Aaron Downs
Dec 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Between Two Worlds: The Challenge of Preaching Today
John Stott’s Between Two Worlds argues for the supremacy of preaching through historical examples, theological basis, biblical understanding, and personal holiness. This book, in comparison to Piper’s The Supremacy of God in Preaching, addresses a multiple facets within the topic of preaching. I found two subjects in the book especially convicting: the subjects of “Contemporary Objections to Preaching” and “The Call to Study.”
In the objectio
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
From pages 324 & 325: [The preacher is] God's steward, dispensing faithfully to God's household the truths committed to him in the Scriptures, nothing more, nothing less and nothing else. ... The main objective of preaching is to expound Scripture so faithfully and relevantly that Jesus Christ is perceived in all his adequacy to meet human need. The true preacher is a witness; he is incessantly testifying to Christ.

I enjoyed and benefitted from Stott's collection of quotes from the Anglican trad
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
best book on preaching i have ever read
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read through this again. Probably my favorite book on preaching and one to return to for the ongoing pursuit of improvement. Absolute gems of insight in this one. Stott is always a pleasure to read.
Matt Moran
Sep 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Theological, practical, and very inspiring. Stott begins with a history of preaching in the Christian church and answers some contemporary objections to preaching. He gets into the meat of the book in ch. 3 with his theological foundations for preaching. In ch. 4 he unpacks his title image 'Between two worlds' - Stott pictures the preacher as a bridge between the Biblical world and the 21st century, proclaiming the Gospel faithfully in a contemporary context. His chapters 5-6 on study ...more
Peter Jones
Oct 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Four stars until the final chapter on "Courage and Humility." An excellent book on the history of preaching, it's theological foundation, it's purpose and how to prepare a sermon. A bit dated in some places, but that usually doesn't matter with Stott. What he lays out as the preacher's task is always relevant. The last chapter struck me like a punch in the face. Preachers love the praise of man. Stott reminds us of the need for courage and to remember that we will be judged by God, not man.
Todd Miles
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: preaching
Stott writes a cover-everything book on preaching. His theological background for preaching, as well as his appeals to church history were very helpful. He even spent time talking through some of the nuts and bolts of sermon preparation. He does great work on the heart necessary to preach. It could have been shorter.
Jacob Aitken
Nov 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Basic primer on pastoral communication. Probably a modern-day classic. It won't give you everything you are looking for in a preaching manual, but it is certainly worth a read.
Jun 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: preaching
Books that are given to you by friends, and especially mentors, are often more precious than even great books encountered on your own. Good books are better books when they are passed down, that is part of the beauty of a website like because it facilitates this practice.

Such is the case with this book, it was given to me by Mark Bergin (now preaching pastor at The Painted Door church in Chicago, IL) who trained me for my role as deacon at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA. Since we
Bret James Stewart
Stott has written another great book.

Brief Summary

This book deals with preaching in what was recently the contemporary culture. The concepts are timeless, so one must ignore the occasional reference to typewriters or overhead projectors and stick to the ideas Stott is attempting to convey. Of all the functions in the church, Stott believes preaching is the most important. His book provides information and strategies for the modern preacher to use in the pulpit. The first section of the book cont
Randy Corn
Nov 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is my second time through this book, having read it back in the 1980s. At least that is what I think. I will have to search my earlier reading logs to try and nail that down. I read this book to refamiliarize myself with it since it is considered perhaps the homiletics text after Robinson and Chappell. I felt like it would be a good preparation for the online homiletics class that I will have starting in about two weeks.

The title suggests the main idea that Stott has about the preaching tas
Vincent Ng
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Stotts’ writing of Between Two Worlds The Art of Preaching in the Twentieth Century, though published in 1982 has great implications for preachers today. The read through has been extremely encouraging and insightful as I learn about preaching and preachers. Stott sets out to summarize the theme of the book in that “preaching is indispensable to Christianity.” He has a great sense of the urgency of preaching in the church and for the Christian. He firstly introduces a history to preaching, ...more
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have read on preaching, Stott writes in 1982 but the message is timely even 40 years later. Bear with the first chapter, which is a historical overview of preaching, for it gets much better from there. Stott provides theological rationale for the act of preaching its foundation set upon the Word of God. There are some practical words of advice, some may be helpful and some not, but I’m glad Stott shares them anyway. The pastor who reads this will be inspired while conside ...more
Aaron Ventura
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the best all-around books on preaching that I have read. Stott writes with a helpful self-reflectiveness that sees self-forgetfulness as a goal, however unattainable it is. I was reminded again that everything is sermon preparation and afflictions are how we become pastors who know how to both comfort the heartbroken and afflict the complacent.
Elijah Abanto
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Stott: I believe in preaching, and I further believe that nothing is better calculated to restore health and vitality to the Church or to lead its members into maturity in Christ than a recovery of true, biblical, contemporary preaching.

Thank you O Lord for this book. May more and more true Christian preachers know and live the truths taught in this book.
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read, and one worth revisiting. The emphasis is less on the nuts and bolts of preaching and more on the foundational convictions of preaching, which I liked. Occasionally a bit dated but, mutatis mutandi, still very useful.
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
I’m not a pastor or teacher myself, but this book definitely gave me a good insight into the struggles and obstacles that face pastors. I don’t necessarily agree with everything that he says, but I feel that I was edified and educated by reading this.
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
We are ambassadors for Christ. That's what the Apostle Paul calls us. What is an ambassador but one who stands between two worlds. The preacher, more than anyone else, must do this. This is the quintessential book on how he can.
May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent read and filled with common sense. So many great quotes and ideas to help you think through what your preaching should include.
Jacob Rush
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A lot of good horse sense.
Josh Dockter
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a great introductory book to preaching. Stott is warm and pastoral and strong when he needs to be. He loves Scripture and he is able to communicate that well.
Jeremy Tetreau
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb, piercing, helpful, encouraging, challenging, and weighty. A must-read for those aspiring to communicate the Gospel faithfully.
Coram Deo Church
Between Two Worlds is not currently available at local libraries.
Michael Godfrey
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rightly deserves its designation as a "classic."
OK Russell
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Very comprehensive step by step treatise on the “how to” of Biblical expositional Preaching. Standing “between two worlds” is a mental image that is hard to forget.
Dec 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was AMAZING!! I absolutely loved it and it challenged me to think about preaching/teaching in an entirely new way.

Some of my favorite thoughts (and there were many) are...

"I confess that in the pulpit I am often seized with 'communication frustration', for a message burns within me, but I am unable to convey to others what I am thinking, let alone feeling. And seldom if ever do I leave the pulpit without a sense of partial failure, a mood of penitence, a cry to God for forgiveness, an
Clayton Hutchins
Jun 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Enormously helpful and well-written. I will return to this often.
Kevin Lara
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: preaching
"Preaching is indispensable to Christianity". With these words Stott opens this excellent book.

Stott is very clear in his thinking and very systematic. His encouragement for ministers and aspiring ministers to hold to the indispensability of preaching throughout the book is very helpful. He surely sees preaching as central to the Christian faith. Very practical but also grounded in very sound theology. A will certainly find myself coming back to this book for fresh encouragement very frequently.
Nathan Moore
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: preaching
The strengths of this book are both many and varied. Stott argues that 'preaching is indispensable to Christianity' and to the health of the Christian church. As the title suggests, Stott discribes the work of the preacher as one of bridge-building. Because of the distance and the complexities of the ancient/Biblical world, carefully planned bridges must be built for God's Word to be loudly related to those in the modern world. To do this, the preacher must be a student of each of these respecti ...more
J.S. Park
Dec 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
Like a balanced meal, John Stott serves a course of both pragmatism and piety for the hard work of the sermon. Written mostly for pastoral ministry, Stott contrasts the amplitudes of preaching and the preacher's character, always keeping both feet on the ground while aiming the heart at Heaven. The proclamation of the Word of God is no light matter, and Stott details the seriousness it deserves. Full of quotes, written with great humility, and practical even down to sermon length, this is the pe ...more
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John R. W. Stott is known worldwide as a preacher, evangelist, and communicator of Scripture. For many years he served as rector of All Souls Church in London, where he carried out an effective urban pastoral ministry. A leader among evangelicals in Britain, the United States and around the world, Stott was a principal framer of the landmark Lausanne Covenant (1974). His many books, including Why ...more

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“There is, I am afraid we have to say, a certain arrogance about the theological liberalism which deviates from historic biblical Christianity. For anyone who refuses to submit to God’s Word, and “does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching which accords with godliness” is “puffed up with conceit,” and “insubordinate” (1 Tim. 6:3–4; Titus 1:9, 10). The Christian preacher is to be neither a speculator who invents new doctrines which please him, nor an editor who excises old doctrines which displease him, but a steward, God’s steward, dispensing faithfully to God’s household the truths committed to him in the Scriptures, nothing more, nothing less, and nothing else. For this ministry a humble mind is necessary. We need to come daily to the Scriptures and to sit like Mary at Jesus’ feet, listening to his Word.” 1 likes
“We need, then, to ask people questions and get them talking. We ought to know more about the Bible than they do, but they are likely to know more about the real world than we do. So we should encourage them to tell us about their home and family life, their job, their expertise and their spare-time interests. We also need to penetrate beyond their doing to their thinking. What makes them tick? How does their Christian faith motivate them? What problems do they have which impede their believing or inhibit them from applying their faith to their life?” 1 likes
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