Give Them Christ
Much preaching today begins with the hearer's "felt needs" and then moves to how Christianity can solve those problems. But this approach often results in trite Christologies that merely use Jesus as a means to an end or a vehicle for self-improvement. While preachers might not dispense with Christ altogether, other things subtly take center stage and become more important than Christ himself.
Pastoral theologian Stephen Seamands issues a stirring call to rediscover the centrality of Christ in preaching. Deftly blending doctrine and praxis, he revitalizes preaching by focusing on five key dimensions of Jesus' work: his incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension and return. Seamands highlights how preaching Christ crucified and risen speaks profoundly to the deepest dimensions of human existence. Addressing both the "what" and the "so what," this exposition helps church leaders declare afresh that Christ alone is supremely sufficient for Christian faith and practice.
Pastors and preachers will find here significant resources for their churches' worship, life together and mission in the world. Become captivated once again by the glory of Christ, and find yourself compelled to proclaim his work anew.
"With this book, Steve Seamands calls pastors and congregations to remember that Jesus Christ is the heart of the gospel, and not just a means we use to carry out and advance the mission of the gospel. Guided by his love for both theology and the church, Seamands challenges the contemporary trend to offer "Christianity without Christ" and offers instead a well-argued and clearly articulated presentation of the gospel as it is manifested in the whole witness of Scripture. Seamands thus helps us to see how preaching and theology continue to need each other if the church is to be faithful to its calling. This timely work will provide wisdom and encouragement to all who long to see a renewal of preaching in our time."
"As a preacher and a teacher of preachers I am profoundly encouraged by Give Them Christ. Seamands has called the pulpit to meet the needs of a generation largely without knowledge of Christian doctrine. Concentrating on the doctrines related to the person of Christ, he demonstrates not only the importance of doctrine but also how exciting and winsome such preaching can be. He offers sound scholarship delivered with passion."
"Preaching is Christology in thoughtful, contextually connected and passionate speech. Stephen Seamands knows this. The gospel has no other content than Jesus Christ, and that means his incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension and return. In Give Them Christ Seamands artfully presents us with the sifted wisdom of his gleanings from exegesis, theology, hymnody, poetry, biography and even cultural analysis. This book on what to preach--and not on how to preach--has the order right, for form follows content. Clearly written, with never a point without illustration, this is a book that will gladden the preacher for the work of warming the hearts, stirring the imaginations and renewing the minds of the people with the gospel of Jesus Christ."
"Nothing is more important than for pastors to lift up Christ in their preaching. Here is a book designed to help them do exactly that--in a way that will help their congregations understand the significance of what Christ has done for their personal lives and their life together."
"Among the many myths of modernity, none has been more devastating to the church than the belief that method is what matters most in ministry. And nowhere has this myth been more pernicious than in preaching. Steeped in homiletical method, preaching is now more rhetorically sophisticated and entertaining than ever, but the life-changing power of the gospel is conspicuous by its absence. Fortunately, in Give Them Christ, the help that we so desperately need has arrived. Indeed, for all those who long to recover the transforming power of preaching, I can think of no better place to begin."
"If you want an antidote to the marketed Jesus of popular evangelical imagination and a return to the faithful Christology of the New Testament, then you have found it in Steve Seamands's Give Them Christ. Seamands brings the reader on a very engaging, accessible journey which introduces us afresh to the awesome truth of the incarnation, the costly scandal of the cross, the glorious magnificence of the resurrection and the triumphant glory of the ascension. The result is a Christology for the church that will surprise and delight Christians everywhere. I heartily recommend it!"
"Seamands provides substantive insights on how to present critical Christological themes in such a way to explore the depths of their theological significance while inspirationally conveying their practical implications for everyday life."
1. Christ Above All
2. Preaching the Incarnation
3. Preaching the Cross: Scandal, Atonement, Suffering, Love
4. Preaching the Cross: Social Evil, Victory, Dying with Christ
5. Preaching the Resurrection: New Creation, Lordship, Vindication
6. Preaching the Resurrection: Church, Salvation, Life Everlasting
7. Preaching the Ascension
8. Preaching the Return of Christ