This will be a two part review because the nature of this new release by Zondervan. It is the 40th Anniversary Edition of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones classic Preaching & Preachers. If you are unfamiliar with the book, it began as a series of lectures that Lloyd-Jones delivered to the students of Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. These lectures were held during the spring of 1969, over the course of six weeks. They were published two years later into a single volume which has, since that time, become a classic text on preaching. I will attempt to discover why it became so popular.
Here’s what I would like to accomplish in Part 1 of this review. I want to focus solely on the additions to this new 40th Anniversary release. Most of the new elements are additions to the physicality of the book itself: the lay-out and reformatting. The other primary additions are textual:a new foreword and essays by modern preachers.
Upon first inspection, the new edition is a nice refresh. Several new elements compliment the original text and I think will be welcomed by the modern reader. Of first significance are essays by what we may characterize as modern-day Lloyd-Jones’. Pastors that have become known for their preaching. They don’t take up the subject of preaching in order to add to the conversation begun by Lloyd-Jones, rather their focus is to relate how Lloyd-Jones (and thus this book) shaped their understanding of preaching. While I wish each of the men contributing essays to this volume would write their own book on preaching, their essays are a nice addition and will have to suffice, for now. I appreciate the insight these men do provide.
Another new feature that general editor Kevin DeYoung points out in the foreword is that subheadings have been added to further aid the reader through the chapters. The next addition is a formatting change that I do not care for. The addition of “quote emphasis” boxes on the pages of text makes no sense to me. I really do not understand the purpose of these in a full-length book. It seems that all they do is distract from the flow of reading and take up space. It’s repetitive text, and is essentially a huge highlight that someone else chose for you. These may make sense in magazines or short publications, but I don’t understand the function of them in a book such as this. Finally, there is the addition of discussion questions at the end of the original chapters. This should help guide aspiring pastors or small groups through the book. Though, once again, I still question these types of additions.
So, that’s a little of what to expect when you pick up this new edition. Nothing too surprising if you’ve read a book in the past few years. It’s probably best summed up by simply saying, industry standards. As for the new edition, I would probably stick to the old copy if you’ve already got one. Definitely try to read the new essays at some point, but I’m not sure it’s worth buying a brand new copy.
*This book was provided by Zondervan as a free review copy. I am under no obligation to write a favorable review.*