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The Imperative of Preaching: A Theology of Sacred Rhetoric
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The Imperative of Preaching: A Theology of Sacred Rhetoric

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  33 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
Believing that preaching remains of vital importance today, John Carrick argues that its effectiveness can be greatly enhanced if preachers make use of the patterns of communication laid down by God in Scripture for their instruction. He sees in the Bible a sacred rhetoric which the apostles and prophets, and Christ himself, used to awaken, move and persuade their hearers. ...more
Hardcover, 202 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by Banner of Truth
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Douglas Wilson
I have read quite a few books on preaching, I have to say. This one was in the top three. Really fine. I'll be doing a more detailed review on my blog.
Roger Feenstra
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I hammered out this book in a couple of hours today. It is a good book on the art of rhetoric, or as the cover says, A Theology of Sacred Rhetoric. The primary thrust of the book are four rhetorical devices which make for powerful preaching. The Indicative, the Exclamative, the Interrogative, and the Imperative.

The author states if a preacher is to maintain a ministry that is balanced, he must preach sermons that are balanced by using all of the devices mentioned above. The book is filled with
Peter N.
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. John Carrick addresses the different methods or parts of preaching, including indicative, interrogative, exclamative and the imperative. All the chapters were worth reading. But the key contributions of the book are the two chapters on the imperative. There Carrick rebukes those who would leave specific and pointed application out of preaching. I believe this is an important corrective to current preaching trends that tell the story without little, if any, application ...more
Adam Bradley
Aug 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Apparently written (especially chapter 6) as part of a fight I didn't realize it was important to have a dog in. There are some bizarre tribes in the Reformed world.

That exemplary indicatives are functional imperatives is one of those things that's difficult to recognize as needing to be affirmed because the alternative is so palid... so much so as to make me wonder if this is a case of shadow boxing or worse. But I can't really say the fight interests me enough to bother chasing down the actual
Matt Moran
Oct 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: preaching
Tedious but profitable.

This reads like a Ph.D dissertation. It may be 50% or more of this book is block quotes of Scripture quotations or excerpts from sermons.

However, Carrick has made very helpful rhetorical insights into preaching based on his study of Scripture and great Reformed preachers. Namely he has delved into the indicative-imperative relationship in preaching, with helpful explorations of the exclamative and interrogative.

This is a good book for a Reformed preacher looking to be Chri
Jun 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Good. On the necessity of both indicatives and imperatives (in that order) in preaching. It had some wonderful short sections, but most of it read like a dissertation. Should have been half the length.
Jul 22, 2014 rated it liked it
The strength of this book is its use of example in the Scriptures for each of the chapters. I found that the chapter on the interrogative--the use of questions in preaching--was the most helpful to me as a preacher. Carrick's style is a bit of butterless toast, but the content is solid.
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly valuable resource in that it is accessible (if a bit dense), succinct (if a bit heavy on block quotes), unique (emphasizing the complementary balance between indicative and imperative while using rhetorical and grammatical categories throughout), and Christ-exalting.
Nathan Shaver
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: iron-on-iron
Excellent! A great reminder in what preaching is and a great primer on how to do it biblically. Filled with great examples!
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