Due to William Marshall‘s commendation, I recently procured Arturo G. Azurdia’s book entitled Spirit Empowered Preaching. The book lived up to the hype. And like pork ribs on the 4th of July, the Azurdian aroma still wafts through my hungry soul. You cannot afford to miss this book, especially those of us who decorate our preaching with self-exalting trinkets.
You’ll know its benefits soon enough. But, here are a few appetizers:
It must be understood that the preacher does not share, he declares. It is for this very reason that small group Bible studies can never replace the preaching of the gospel. Preaching is not a little talk. It is not a fireside chat. To substitute sharing and discussion for preaching is to risk the integrity of the gospel itself (p88).
The preacher brings to a fallen humanity the very testimony of God centered on the redemptive work of Jesus Christ, a work which by nature shatters all human self-sufficiency. To then attempt a proclamation of that message in a manner that relies upon methods reflecting the wizardry of men is to eviscerate the gospel of its own content. The cross . . . not only determines the substance of the preacher’s message, it dictates the manner in which preachers communicate it; in a way that rivets the attention of people on the beauties of Jesus Christ rather than on the comparatively paltry gifts of the preacher (p91).
The pulpit calls those anointed to it as the sea calls its sailors, and like the sea it batters and bruises and does not rest. To preach, to really preach, is to die naked a little at a time, and to know each time you do it that you must do it again (p127, quoting Alistair Begg).
A major step toward experiencing the power of God necessitates a thorough-going recognition of our lack of it. . . . The preacher must recognize, and even revel in, his own human inabilities (p143).
Enjoy this book, brethren, and may Christ’s church benefit from your effort.