Learn from the early church’s greatest preacher.
John of Antioch, later called “chrysostomos” (“golden mouth”), preached over 600 extant sermons. He was one of the most prolific authors in the early Church, surpassed only by Augustine of Hippo. His example and work has inspired countless Christians through the ages.
In Preaching the Word with John Chrysostom, through a combination of storytelling and theology, Gerald Bray reflects upon 1,500 year-old pastoral wisdom from one of church history’s most prolific Christ-centered preachers. Chrysostom’s eloquent preaching and influence on Christian teaching left a legacy that is still recognized today.
Gerald Bray shares with his subject, John Chrysostom, the enviable ability to communicate profound truth simply and to a wide group of people. His treatment of Chrysostom, his life, and his preaching of Genesis, Matthew, John, and Romans is remarkably accessible and shows us how Chrysostom understood the outworking of the principle of accommodation in the Creator’s communication with his creation. This introduction to Chrysostom will whet the appetite of those who want to see how one of the greatest preachers in the Christian church served the people God had given him to love.
–Mark D. Thompson, Moore College
John Chrysostom is a name too little known by Christians today, especially by Protestants. But this pastor from the late fourth and early fifth century is worth getting acquainted with and learning from. Thankfully, Gerald Bray has written an accessible volume that doesn’t overwhelm us but instead helps us see how John interprets Scripture and applies it to life. Over his life John produced about six hundred sermons that we still have, but Bray wisely concentrates on four sections of Scripture (early Genesis, Matthew, John, and Romans) to give contemporary readers a real taste of wisdom from this ancient source. We may not agree with every move Chrysostom makes, but he certainly has a great deal to teach us.
–Kelly M. Kapic, Covenant College
John Chrysostom is one of those ancient Christian writers we think we know perhaps better than we do. Gerald Bray serves as a trustworthy guide to the essential Chrysostom, pointing the reader to key elements of the reluctant bishop’s background as well as exploring the texts that will best introduce twenty-first-century readers to the “golden-mouthed” interpreter of Jesus, Matthew, John the Evangelist, and Paul.
–Joel Elowsky, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis
Today, so few Christians know the church fathers, let alone have read their writings. So I am ecstatic to see Gerald Bray retrieve a father like John Chrysostom, that golden-mouth preacher. Chrysostom not only defended the deity of Christ against Arianism but he also modeled sound biblical interpretation. Leaving us over six hundred sermons, pastors today will benefit from examining Chrysostom’s rhetorical approach—especially in our day, when rhetoric has been exchanged for visual stimuli. But pastors and scholars alike also will be humbled by Chrysostom’s refusal to preach the scriptures in a clever, sophisticated style, as if Christianity is only for elites. Chrysostom exemplified his Savior as well as the apostle Paul by preaching the scriptures with clarity. In doing so, Chrysostom imitated our incomprehensible Creator, who accommodated himself, even to the point of incarnation, to make his grace known. Read Bray on Chrysostom, and then go read Chrysostom for yourself!
–Matthew Barrett, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
The Lived Theology series explores aspects of Christian doctrine through the eyes of the men and women who practiced it. Interweaving the contributions of notable individuals alongside their overshadowed contemporaries, we gain a much deeper understanding and appreciation of their work and the broad tapestry of Christian history. These books illuminate the vital contributions made by these figures throughout the history of the church.
Learn more about the other titles in this series.
“about six hundred sermons on specific biblical texts” (Page 7)
“Today we live in an audiovisual world in which the spoken word is reduced to a minimum. Tweets and sound bites have replaced lectures and speeches, and for most people, a twenty-minute sermon is the most extended form of address that they are likely to hear on a regular basis.” (Page 11)
“the Acts of the Apostles, the only commentary on that book to have survived from ancient times” (Page 7)
Gerald L. Bray is Research Professor of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School of Samford University (Birmingham, Alabama). He is the author of numerous books including God Is Love, God Has Spoken, and Biblical Interpretation: Past and Present.