By Rubén de Rus, published at Resources for Ministry/Recursos Ministeriales.
There are many books in the Christian market that cover exegetical issues and many others that cover biblical exposition. But there are few books in the market that provide readers with a bridge for the gap that exists between the aforementioned disciplines. The book Integrating Exegesis and Exposition: Biblical Communication for Transformative Learning, by Christopher Cone, serves that purpose in an extraordinary way. This is a book that, as its title says, informs readers about the process of integrating exegesis and exposition.
The book is divided into two sections. Section one deals with introductory issues and provides an integrative approach for transformation and replication. Section two provides an overview of the exegetical process and is the prevalent section (by extension) of the book.
Cone’s thesis is that teaching and biblical exposition is not an exclusive responsibility of the pastoral ministry but a ministry every single Christian should perform. He goes back and forth to this idea through the book. Of course he defends the biblical idea that pastors should be capable to teach others, but he argues that this aspect of the pastoral ministry should focus on preparing others to interpret the Bible by themselves. In other words, pastors should lead others toward exegetical independence instead of making dependents. He uses many biblical passages in a very exhaustive way in order to support his point.
The author advocates for an exegesis that is based on a literal grammatical-historical hermeneutical approach. He recommends pastors and Bible students to get familiar with biblical languages and textual criticism in order to be able to understand Scriptures from a deeper perspective. Cone introduces the seven steps that LGH method requires for exegetical purposes. He presents every single step in an accessible way so even readers who are unfamiliar with these terms can understand. The seven steps section is a great addition to the book and a very useful tool for Bible students.
In section two, Cone begins by developing and expanding the seven steps of LGH method. He adds two points to the seven steps previously discussed. These two additional steps are (8) secondary verification and (9) development of exposition. Then he deals with hermeneutical issues before he begins discussing homiletical and expositional aspects. In this section, Cone presents the seven informal and formal methods for preaching and teaching. The author employs case studies of sermons and visual expositions that help readers to analyze real biblical expositions from different perspectives and approaches.
Cone also covers practical issues such as technology usage for exposition. While the author does not make a fervent defense in favor of technology, he does not censor it. Instead he acknowledges technology as a new tendency that has been growing in recent decades and that can be very useful if used properly by expositors for the purpose of teaching.
Summarizing, Cone’s book is a strong and solid resource that covers a sometimes ignored area as is the integration of exegesis and exposition. Integration is the main focus of this book, and Cone does a brilliant work in providing tools for the purpose of incorporating exegesis into exposition. This book is extremely recommendable for pastors, lay leaders, seminary students, and Christians in general. I hope seminary professors teaching exegesis and homiletics would consider this book as a required textbook for students. Churches and Christianity in general would benefit from people who are able to learn, practice, and teach the principles enclosed in this book. As a pastor, seminary professor, and defender of expository preaching, I found this book one of the most useful books ever; a priceless resource and a treasure that every serious expositor should read.
You can buy it here. You will not regret it.
I received a copy of this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.