My favorite book on the theology of preaching—which helps me remember what I’m doing and why—is the first one I ever read, the one that convinced me that going to seminary wasn’t a completely insane idea. Buechner’s gift for wringing beauty out of pain is one I appreciate more and more. Reading this book is like picking up somebody else’s family photo album and seeing your own face staring out at you from every page.
This is a nuts-and-bolts volume for moments when one has pulpit panic. It’s the sturdiest and most engaging of the preaching textbooks. Preaching is a daunting task, but Long breaks it down without losing the big picture. His process has room for both concrete thinkers and dreamy conceptualists. It is easily adaptable, which makes it extremely helpful for teachers.