Preaching With Cultural Intelligence – Review

Preaching With Cultural IntelligenceAs a pastor of a local church who preaches weekly, I’m always looking to improve my craft. This includes reading books on preaching. But how many ways can someone tell you to find the meaning in a text and communicate it in a relevant and engaging manner? I often fear that I’m just going to read more of the same.

It is for that reason that I really enjoyed Matthew D. Kim’s Preaching With Cultural Intelligence: Understanding the People Who Hear Our Sermons.

Kim is an evangelical who affirms the importance of Scripture and the need to find the original meaning of the text. But he doesn’t stop there. It is very easy to be faithful to the text but not faithful to the nature of our congregations.

The heart of Kim’s idea is something called the homiletical template. This template includes hermeneutics (stage 1), homiletical bridge (stage 2) and homiletics (stage 3). Each of these stages are comprised of components that make up an acronym. These include:

Stage 1: HABIT

Historical, Grammatical and Literary Context
Author’s Cultural Context
Big Idea of the Text
Interpret in Your Context
Theological Presuppositions

Stage 2: BRIDGE


Stage 3: DIALECT


Having developed this template, Kim illustrates how this looks in different contexts. He includes how to use it when preaching to different denominations, ethnicities, genders, locations and religions.

One of the things that I loved about this book is that he finds a nice balance between theory and practicality. Kim develops the theory and lays a solid foundation. But then he takes that theory and shows how to use the template for different passages in different contexts.

I can honestly say that Preaching With Cultural Intelligence is one of the best books on preaching that I have ever read. I would recommend it for any pastor who preaches on a regular basis.

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