Preaching Master Class: Selections from Will Willimon's Five-Minute Preaching Workshop

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Preaching Master Class: Selections from Will Willimon's Five-Minute Preaching Workshop edited by Noel Snyder Cascade, Eugene, Ore., 2010. 125 pp. $17.00. ISBN 978-160608-915-6.

FEW PEOPLE HAVE GIVEN as much thought to the art and craft of preaching as Will Willimon. As a practitioner of preaching, and now as a bishop with preachers under his care, Willimon knows the central importance of the preaching event But Preaching Master Class is not a book on the technique of preaching. Instead, it is a compilation of essays that address a wide range of issues confronting those who would dare stand behind a pulpit.

These essays first appeared in the quarterly Pulpit Resource, a lectionary-based journal that seeks to stoke the homiletical imagination. In addition to the comments on the lectionary texts, Willimon included a reflection on the practice of preaching, a "five minute preaching workshop." Noel Snyder has taken thirty-four of those essays and grouped them into categories like "Special Issues in Preaching," "Preaching and the Text," and "Preaching, the Church, and the World."

The presumption of the book is that preaching is akin to a craft in which an apprentice draws from the wisdom of a skilled artisan, on the way to developing Hs or her own style. …