Book Reviews

Review of A Vision for Preaching by Abraham Kuruvilla

Kuruvilla, Abraham. A Vision for Preaching: Understanding the Heart of Pastoral Ministry. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2015, pp 224, $21.99, softcover. Abraham Kuruvilla (MD, University of Kerala; PhD, Baylor College of Medicine; PhD, University of Aberdeen) is research professor of pastoral ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is also a dermatologist in private practice. As the consummate skin doctor, Kuruvilla treats abnormalities of the epidermis in a clinical setting and academically reflects upon divine words transcribed on vellum scrolls. His academic emphasis centers on the intersection of hermeneutics and homiletics for faithful expository preaching. This intersection is explored in his latest book, A Vision for Preaching. Kuruvilla’s hermeneutical and homiletical proposal is encapsulated in his vision statement. He says, “Biblical preaching, by a leader of the church, in a gathering of Christians for worship, is the communication of the thrust of a pericope of Scripture discerned by theological exegesis, and of its application to that specific body of believers, that they may be conformed to the image of Christ, for the glory of God—all in the power of the Holy Spirit” (p.1). This vision forms the chapter divisions of Kuruvilla’s book and casts a theological vision chapter by chapter…

Review of The Pastor as Public Theologian by Vanhoozer and Strachan

Vanhoozer, Kevin, and Owen Strachan, The Pastor as Public Theologian: Reclaiming a Lost Vision, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2015, pp. 240, $19.99, hardback. Kevin Vanhoozer (PhD, University of Cambridge) is research professor of systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. An ordained elder, he has written or edited sixteen books. Owen Strachan (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is associate professor of Christian theology and director of The Center for Theological and Cultural Engagement at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Also, Strachan is the author of six books, and he is the president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. In addition to Vanhoozer and Strachan, pastoral contributions are woven throughout the work from twelve ministers across American and European evangelical contexts. Vanhoozer, Strachan, and a team of seasoned practitioners provide a sweeping rebuttal to the contemporary approach of pastoral ministry. Throughout this work, readers are confronted with a passionate plea to recover a historical and biblical view that pastoral ministry is first and foremost a theological calling. The authors dispel the mentality that pastoral ministry is one of only praxis and robust theological reflection is reserved only for the academy. The authors argue that “theological minds belong in ecclesial…