the Fog from the Pulpit to the Pew:
The author is an "excellent communicator" (p.7) whose passion is
to inspire men and women of God to preach expository sermons. Dr Low
firmly believes that the "pulpit must remain a place where the Word
of God is proclaimed authoritatively. We preach because of our
Master, our message, and our mandate" (p.29). His book is
written to provide a resource companion on the principles and practice of
homiletics for pastors and Christian leaders including lay leaders. The
claim that the book is "devoted to effective communication of God's
Word" (p.9) is substantiated with valid proofs. Dr Low was
awarded the H.A. Ironside Award for being the most outstanding preacher of
the year in 1982 at Dallas Theological Seminary in the United States.
Besides his scholastic achievement, he has been practising and teaching
the art of expository preaching for more than fifteen years in different
countries around the globe as a pastor, preacher and seminary educator.
The book was recently translated into Bulgarian.
The content of the book is presented in a unique style as that of a course syllabus. With a little imagination, readers will have that sense of being transported into a classroom-like setting assimilating and actively engaging in interacting with the author on the development of expository sermons. The course instructions are clear, simple yet profound. From the initial stage of selecting a biblical text, deriving a central subject, formulating a clear purpose, idea, structure to the eventual delivery of the message, the process is logical and lively. Dr Low's sense of humour makes the reading of the text enjoyable. For example, painting the different kinds of sermons, he describes the "butterfly sermons" as "wandering sermons flying from one verse to another without stopping long enough for people to catch the butterfly!" Examples, illustrations, anecdotes and samples of sermon outlines given at the different stages make the learning exploratory and purposeful in assessing areas to "clear the fog" and habits to inculcate if one is serious about effective preaching. Readers will also find useful tips on "Evaluating Speakers," "Introducing and Thanking Speakers," "Personal Video Tape Review" and other useful tools in the appendices for the pulpit ministry.
The book is valuable for teaching and training in the making of effective preachers of expository sermons. With the understanding that expository preaching is the "effective communication of the central idea of a biblical text" (p.35), the one caution given is that his "students" should have had a course on hermeneutics, the principles of biblical interpretation to achieve the intended goal of preparing expository sermons. The pulpit ministry is a "serious business" and the requirement is necessary because,
All week long our people hear the words of man. They have been immersed in the news of war, racial crisis, political intrigue, economic unrest, and other national international traumas. Is it unwarranted to expect that when they come to church on Sunday they will hear a unique word from God? Does not the preacher dabble in foolishness and secondary utterances when he simply describes what they hear all week long? Preaching's unique claim to a hearing is that is a word from God, a word revealed in the Word of God. Indeed, it is a word of hope (quoted Baumann (p.29).
(Review by Dr Ng Peh Cheng)