This is the book review I wrote for my Intro to Preaching course.
Book Review: Preaching as Testimony by Anna Carter Florence
Preaching as Testimony by Anna Carter Florence, is written for the explicit reason of asking readers “to rethink preaching in light of testimony…[and]…testimony in light of preaching.” As Florence sees it, “testimony is our oldest model for talking about God” but “is a virtually untapped resource” and its absence from homiletics “need[s] to be addressed.” Aware of the ongoing debate regarding the complications of sharing too much personal information from the pulpit, Florence persuasively argues that we reclaim testimony as a form of preaching that is not autobiographical, but rather a telling of what the preacher “has seen and heard in the Biblical text and in life, and then confesses what she believes about it.”
Preaching as Testimony is broken up into three parts. Florence believes there are details of our preaching tradition that have been forgotten and as such, part one highlights three women preachers as an attempt to “wake up some of those details.” Her choice of women is based on the fact that they were “amazing people” who were famous and had “written documents associated with them” to include “trial transcripts, letters, autobiographies, and journals.” Just as these women were worth highlighting in the book, they are worth highlighting here. (more…)