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Christ-Centered Preaching: Redeeming the Expository Sermon

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  2,541 ratings  ·  122 reviews
This complete guide to expository preaching teaches the basics of preparation, organization, and delivery--the trademarks of great preaching. With the help of charts and creative learning exercises, Chapell shows how expository preaching can reveal the redemptive aims of Scripture and offers a comprehensive approach to the theory and practice of preaching. He also provides ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Baker Academic (first published March 1st 1994)
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4.26  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,541 ratings  ·  122 reviews

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Jordan Shirkman
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Chappell’s whole premise of finding a fallen-condition focus for a text and preaching Christ from that would save pastors and their congregations much heartache and bad messages aka fewer Christian TED Talks and more Christ-centered sermons. An incredibly practical, compelling book on preaching Christ.
Matt Pitts
Jun 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: preaching
Christ-Centered Preaching is perhaps a modern classic and certainly one of the greatest preaching texts of the last 30 years or more. It is broken up into three sections (principles, preparation, and theology) and has a wealth of additional information in the appendixes (everything from how to dress and speak to how to prepare a funeral message).

Despite its great reputation, I was afraid it would read like a text book - helpful at points, certainly informative, but dry as a bone. The first sect
Ben Robin
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of the top 3 books I've read while in seminary. It might even be the best. It was certainly the most helpful. I plan to look to it again and again for practical and frequent help in future ministry.
Brenden Link
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Today, especially in America, Evangelicals suffer from a profound inability to read any literary text well. T. David Gordon has made this point very strongly in his little book "Why Johnny Can't Preach." Much of the problem, indeed, is the product of a modern, post-enlightenment, hermeneutics which privileges the autonomous self (the scientific reader) over the ancient text. As C.S. Lewis has aptly pointed out, “A work of (whatever) art can be either ‘received’ or ‘used’. When we ‘receive’ it we ...more
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
La longueur, la couverture et le titre de ce livre (en français) ne donnent pas très envie de le lire. Mais le contenu en vaut largement la peine ! Un manuel d'homilétique complet
Nate H
Feb 14, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent textbook on preaching. The best part of the book is when he talks about preaching the gospel. With a textbook you need to hit on all the major points which he does, but I disagree with his hermenutical methods at times. Also it's a pretty rigid structure he gives with not much room for individual preachers to develop their own structure and voice.
Dec 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ministry, theology
How can you preach a Christ-centred sermon when Jesus isn't mentioned in the section of the Bible you're preaching from? How can you avoid implying acceptence by works and promoting moralism when the passage you're preaching from contains nothing but commands? Bryan Chapel is the go-to guy for answers. He had a big influence on me when I heard him speak at a conference just as I was beginning to preach (by the way, you can get the core of his position by listening to a few talks on the net). So ...more
Daniel Ligon
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: preaching
A very good resource on preaching, though sometimes a bit dry and technical. The most helpful aspects of this book are the Fallen Condition Focus (especially in the first two chapters) and the emphasis on redemptive theology (the last two chapters). The book is certainly worth reading for these two topics alone! The rest of the book is basically a general preaching textbook: good, but not groundbreaking. For an introduction to preaching techniques, start with Sunukjian or Haddon Robinson, but if ...more
Mark Barnes
10/10 (exceptional): An excellent textbook for any serious preacher. It's occasionally a little wooden, but page after page is filled with helpful, sage advice with just the right balance of freedom and direction. I will return to this again and again.
Demetrius Rogers
One of the best books on preaching I've ever read. Maybe the only weakness is that some of the steps of sermon construction were over-scripted, which made a few sections longer than necessary. But, my goodness, what a helpful field guide for those engaged in this practice. Loved this book!
Josh Wilson
Aug 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not much particularly new, but still good.
Robert Wegner
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book that addresses preaching a Biblical Theology. Chapell explains that you must remind people of the true beginning, fall, and future as you preach any section of Scripture. Very helpful book.
Jake Bishop
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is great. This is the best book I’ve read when it comes to making the rules of expository sermons clear.
Ryan Linkous
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
The following review is one I wrote on 9/19/16 after reading this book a second time for a seminary class. See my first review below:

I still think this book is helpful because Chapell has broken down the pieces of a sermon and the process of creating them. For someone who has never preached or who has never thought critically about preaching, he offers some good words. I still wonder if a FCF is applicable in every text and if connecting every sermon to the larger narrative of redemption is poss
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: theology
This book will I believe appeal mostly to practicing ministers and teachers. The chapters go into a lot of detail about the "nuts and bolt" of preparing sermons and "why" they are prepared that way.

I'm the assistant pastor in our congregations and really I think I find it of limited use. More likely theology students and so on will use this more than local pastors.

I think I may follow it up with the companion book giving sermon examples. This may be of more practical values...guess I'll see.
Aug 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
I have read many books on preaching, but this one is on the top of the list. Though it was required for class, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it (you know how that goes--sometimes books you would normally enjoy you do not enjoy them because they are required). I wouldn't recommend it unless you preach regularly or are planning on preaching in the future, but if you do or will preach, start with this book.
Радостин Марчев
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Не зная защо подходих към книгата с недоверие, но тя се оказа много добра. Няма нужда човек да е съгласен с всичко, за да отчете многото чудесен материал в нея. Една от най-хубавите книги за проповядване, които съм чел напоследък.
Phil Dunn
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Superb book. Found this so helpful. Quite technical in places, but worth the effort.
Johnmark Battaglia
Dec 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-books
I've read a lot of books on preaching and if I could only keep one, this would be it. I've read this book 3 or 4 times and regularly consult it as a reference tool. Both practical and inspirational, "Christ-Centered Preaching," is simply hard to beat.

Formal review:

Christ-Centered Preaching

Christ-Centered Preaching, has established Chapell as one of the most recognized homileticians in the United States. This book has become a staple at seminaries of various denominations and a go-to book on p
Jeremy Manuel
Dec 18, 2018 rated it liked it
With a book title like Christ-Centered Preaching I expected to enjoy this book a lot, but was sadly rather frustrated by my experience reading this book. It's not that this is a bad book, it's a capable book, but I also feel like it has a lot of flaws that really reduced its usefulness and enjoyment.

Let's start with the good. The truth is if you use this book as a resource you'll get a lot of useful information on organizing and structuring your sermons. You'll even get a good amount of advice o
Bryan Chapell’s thesis in this book is captured very will in the title, and that is: Christ’s redemptive power is the center of every good sermon. Preaching should always be Christ-centered. It is not enough that preachers encourage their congregations to good deeds. The Gospel is centered on Jesus birth, sacrificial death, and resurrection, and that is what gives real power to the sermon. Chapell says preaching should, “provide the means of transformation…that will affect the lives and destinie ...more
Daniel Souza
May 10, 2018 rated it liked it
The primary reason I only gave three stars is due to unmet expectations. Perhaps that's my own fault! I should have thumbed through the book in advance. But the title is "Christ-Centered Preaching". Therefore, my expectation was that this would be the central focus of the book. However, Part I is "Principles for Expository Preaching" and Part II is "Preparation of Expository Sermons". Most of it was pretty good, just not what I was looking for or expecting. The author doesn't actually get to the ...more
Marc Sims
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Classic preaching manual for any pastor. At times it is a little overly specific (particularly when going into the mechanics of a sermon, like outlines or transitions or language style etc.). Good preaching can’t be totally taught in a textbook format, it has to be caught by learning from other good preachers and earned through the crucible of preaching lots of bad sermons yourself. But still, this book does an excellent job of giving you the best resources you can so that hopefully you won’t ha ...more
Steven van Doorn
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was technically "reading" this book for almost 2 years, it's much too good of a book to give up on, but both dense and not exactly gripping.

When I started reading this I was preaching at least once or twice a month, I'm not anymore, so it's a lot less immediately applicable. But I do feel that this very thorough, thought-through book on the "how" and "why" of good sermon creation was worth it. Both for understanding how I think through biblical issues, and for having language to talk about th
Michael Chen
Feb 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Chapell gives really helpful frameworks for preaching Christ from every text:

1. FCF: Use the fallen condition focus (FCF) to show how Christ's grace (through the text) addresses the FCF.

2. PPRR: Preach Christ from every text--that is, preach how every text relates to Christ. When He's not explicit in the text/type, preach PPRR--
how the text
Prepares for,
Reflects, or
Results from
Christ's work.

And he has good examples and thorough explanations. I can't think of anything I disagreed with!

Ben Aurich
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Although this book took me a while to get through, it was well worth the effort. It is exceptionally practical, especially for someone who is graduating with a pastoral degree, and yet still doesn't feel like I have a solid grasp on the art of preaching. One thing I really appreciated, and hope to emulate in my own preaching, is the need to preach every text in relation to Christ. This does not mean forcing Him into the text or trying to find him under ever rock and crevice, but seeing how every ...more
Nicholas Varady-szabo
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Chapell's goal in his classic is to "redeem the expository sermon" and he does so with convincing eloquence. Chapell writes on this topic like a veteran, and helpfully guides the reader through everything from how to preach the gospel from every passage, how to outline a passage of scripture, how and when to use illustrations, and what the preacher should be seeking to accomplish through the task of preaching. An excellent introduction to the topic!
Jeff Short
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: preaching
This is a good book on preaching. The explanation of exposition was good and there are great nuggets scattered throughout. I think the chapter on illustrations was really good. I also liked the explanation of what Christ-centered exposition is. I did not buy in on his fallen condition focus approach to a text. I also would poke at some the stuff on application. The appendices provide brief, practical advice. Overall it a good book on preaching expository sermons.
Dan Mason
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a must-read for anyone considering the calling to be a preacher of God's word. It is immensely practical and incredibly devotional in its approach to scripture. Chapell covers every topic necessary for full preparation for preaching but, more importantly, digs deep into God's word to present an argument for and system of preaching the word expositorily and within God's overarching story of redemption. Could not recommend more highly.
Samuel Kassing
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was excellent! A great explanation of expository preaching. Almost too much in one book though. The book is so thorough that you can drown in the information provided. All together though it's a phenomenal one stop resource and is worth the hard hours that it will take to wade through a textbook. My biggest takeaways are the FCF and Christ-centric application process.
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  • Between Two Worlds: The Challenge of Preaching Today
  • The Supremacy of God in Preaching
  • Preaching and Preachers
  • Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages
  • Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture: The Application of Biblical Theology to Expository Preaching
  • Preach: Theology Meets Practice
  • The Cross and Christian Ministry: Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians
  • Why Johnny Can't Preach: The Media Have Shaped the Messengers
  • Lectures to My Students
  • He Is Not Silent: Preaching in a Postmodern World
  • Pastoral Ministry: How to Shepherd Biblically
  • What is the Mission of the Church?: Making sense of social justice, Shalom and the Great Commission
  • Tell the Truth: The Whole Gospel to the Whole Person by Whole People
  • The Reformed Pastor
  • Preaching Christ from the Old Testament: A Contemporary Hermeneutical Method
  • Basics of Biblical Greek Grammar
  • That Incredible Christian
  • Biblical Eldership: An Urgent Call to Restore Biblical Church
Bryan Chapell is the president of Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, the denominational seminary of the Presbyterian Church in America. He began teaching at Covenant in 1984 after ten years in pastoral ministry. Chapell has a BSJ from Northwestern University, an MDiv from Covenant Theological Seminary, and a PhD in speech communication from Southern Illinois University Carbondal ...more
“John Calvin said he constantly “studied to be simple.” 1 likes
“The glory of preaching is that God accomplishes his will through it, but we are always humbled and occasionally comforted by the knowledge that he works beyond our human limitations.” 0 likes
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