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Communicating Faith in a Sceptical Age

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An accessible and practical guide for clearly communicating the gospel, no matter the context

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New York pastor and acclaimed author Timothy Keller is widely known and respected for his compelling preaching, described by The New York Times as what has 'helped turn Dr Keller... into the pastor many call Manhattan's leading evangelist'. In this book he shares his wisdom on communicating the Christian faith from the pulpit as well as from the coffee shop.

Most Christians - including pastors - struggle to talk about their faith in a way that applies the power of the Christian gospel to change people's lives. Timothy Keller is known for his insightful, down-to-earth sermons and talks that help people understand themselves, encounter Jesus and apply the Bible to their lives. In this accessible guide for pastors and laypeople alike, Keller helps readers learn to present the Christian message of grace in a more engaging, passionate and compassionate way.

Product details


  • Introduction: Three Levels of the Ministry of the Word
    Prologue: What Is Good Preaching?
    Part One: Serving the Word
    1. Preaching the Word
    2. Preaching the Gospel Every Time
    3. Preaching Christ from All of Scripture
    Part Two: Reaching the People
    4. Preaching Christ to the Culture
    5. Preaching and the (Late) Modern Mind
    6. Preaching Christ to the Heart
    Part Three: In Demonstration of the Spirit and of Power
    7. Preaching and the Spirit
    Appendix: Writing an Expository Message

Free extras


Contributors Timothy Keller
ISBN 9781444702187
Format Paperback
First published April 2017
Dimensions 129mm x 198mm x 20.1mm
Weight 0.23 kg
Language English
Publisher Hodder & Stoughton

Christopher Ash

Writer in Residence, Tyndale House, Cambridge.

Preaching is not easy. In this book we have the written thoughts of Tim Keller, perhaps the best-known apologist for the Christian faith in the sophisticated West... We should be grateful to Keller for his wisdom, scholarship, and humility.

Christopher Ash

Writer in Residence, Tyndale House, Cambridge.

Preaching is not easy. In this book we have the written thoughts of Tim Keller, perhaps the best-known apologist for the Christian faith in the sophisticated West... We should be grateful to Keller for his wisdom, scholarship, and humility.

Bryon Borger

Hearts and Minds

If you want to see ‘between the lines’ and just ‘below the surface’ of our cultural moment and societal ethos... Which is to say, if you are any kind of Christian leader, teacher, writer, blogger, public thinker, politician, artist, media person, campus minister, youth leader, parent, Christian educator, spiritual director, or anyone with influence... then this is going to be exceptionally helpful for you.

Independent reviews

Preparing for the Ear

John Woods, Evangelicals Now, 1 Sep 2015

The book begins by asking the question: ‘What is good preaching?’ The exploration of this question provides a clue to what makes Keller effective as a preacher: he is more than the sum of his parts. What constitutes good preaching is often rather subjective; grasping the essence of good preaching is like trying to dissect a fragrance. I was particularly taken with the distinction between a good sermon and good preaching: the former might impress and inform, the latter penetrates and transforms.... continue reading


Christopher Ash, The Gospel Coalition, 8 Jun 2015

Preaching Christ is not only the ultimate way to fully understand a text, nor just the best way to simultaneously reach those who don’t believe and those who do, but also the way to be sure that your address moves beyond a dry lecture and becomes a real proclamation of the truth that reaches the heart . . . . Jesus himself [is] the ultimate way to move from informing the mind to capturing the heart, from merely giving out information to showing everyone a Beauty.... continue reading



Robert Kinney, 9Marks, 28 Aug 2015

I gladly recommend it to anyone charged with preaching or teaching regularly. Keller offers practical guidance along the way that, if followed, will help us to make progress in preaching the Christian gospel to the hearts of a tired, confused, and even skeptical generation.... continue reading

Customer reviews

17 Jan 2016

“A Very Useful Book”

(Review written for 'Preaching')

“Sound preaching arises out of two loves – love of the Word of God and love of people…” When I read that on page 14, I knew this book would be good. However as a mere Occasional Preacher I found it heavy going in places and not quite as accessible as advertised.
I thoroughly agreed with the objective in Part 1 of preaching Christ every time – after all Paul tried to preach nothing but “Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23) – but I feel that if one tried to follow the author’s every suggestion, both here and in the Appendix, one would get seriously bogged down. Part 2 was the best, taking us inside the minds of the listeners – this should prove invaluable as we struggle really to connect with people. Part 3 was a nod to the Holy Spirit, and I have read better discussions of the integrity of the preacher. Mr. Keller could have usefully expanded this very short section to include the essential part of the Spirit in sermon preparation. Not a definitive work, therefore, but one that every preacher should read.

6 Nov 2015

“Practical and evangelical”

(Review written for 'Preaching')

There are a number of good books available on preaching and Keller's is now among them. In some respects he covers familiar ground, but his focus, rightly in my view, is firmly evangelical and Bible based. The first three chapter headings make it clear: 'Preaching the Word', 'Preaching the gospel every time' and 'Preaching Christ from Scripture'. He not only writes with a passion for Bible truth but with a very practical emphasis on how best to communicate the message - what the second section of the book calls 'Reaching the People'. Keller sets the preaching ministry in the context of the real modern world and stresses how, in the end, the gospel call of God to people through preaching is the work of the Spirit and not just the craft of the preacher. The book contains a helpful appendix of nearly 30 pages setting out, for anyone who wants it, practical guidance on constructing an expository message, as well as detailed chapter notes for those who would study further.
This is a book full of insight and experience to help any preacher; new or experienced. Genuinely recommended.

5 Aug 2015

“A Must Read”

(Review written for 'Preaching')

I have read a number of books on different aspects of preaching (some of which Keller himself references in this book), but this goes to the top of the stack for me.

It probably shouldn't be the only book you read - it's not a book that necessarily focuses on the details of communication - but as, in Keller's own words, a "manifesto, not a manual" it is second to none. His emphasis on preaching to the heart, drawing in particular on the work of Jonathan Edwards, is brilliant, and his ideas on engaging with culture are, as always, inspired.

Additionally, it is obvious (not least from the copious notes) that Keller has read many books on preaching and is drawing from both his own considerable experience, but also the experience of those before and around him. This serves a dual-purpose of, in many places, summarising some of those works, but also providing the reader with many avenues for further study.

A must for every preacher, and a great read for everyone else too.

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