Preachers who made a difference

Peter Jeffery

Precious Seed

Paperback, 112pp. Published by Evangelical Press, Faverdale North, Darlington, DL3 0PH. Price £8.95, ISBN 0 85234 5755

The collection of names and preachers chosen by Peter Jeffery may not be ones known to many readers of this magazine unless they have a particular interest in church history. However, the writer has drawn lessons of great importance from the lives of the men he has selected. Through his introduction he states: ‘A common feature of all great preachers is a longing . . . to see souls saved’; ‘Preachers will only make a difference when their preaching clearly shows the people the Lord Jesus Christ’. He makes the comment, ‘Preachers are not the products of edu-cation and training but are men set apart by God and equipped by the Holy Spirit’. And, again, ‘Great preachers are so only because God is pleased to bless their preaching and use them’. It is a pity that these principles are then undermined by the record of the lives of some of the men chosen. Equally, the writer’s Reformed theology is never far from view.

The concept of a book with an accompanying CD is one that is appealing. However, while interesting, in reality the audio sermons that are on the CD are not inspiring or their content easy for a modern audience to grasp. Stuart Olyott, in his preface to this book, sets out the authors intention to enable the reader to ‘come to understand what true preaching is’. This is a lofty intent but, while there is much of interest in the book, it is one, sadly, that this reviewer feels is not attained.