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The Hardest Sermons and Other Resources

Leadership Reviews

Help from Trusted Preachers for Tragic Times
Edited by Bryan Chapell (Zondervan, 2011)

The Facts: This is a collection of 25 sermons on challenging topics. Chapell writes about a third of the sermons himself, with other contributors (Keller, Piper, Barrs, Horton, and others) handling the rest. The introduction sketches a theology of suffering and addresses how to talk about the cross during difficult times. Each chapter includes a sermon, as well as a word about the real-life situation that inspired the sermon, specific concerns that informed the pastor's approach, and a short summary of the sermon's angle.

The Slant: No mere abstractions here. Each sermon was preached by a real pastor to a real congregation after a real tragedy. Taken together, they are quite an education. If you need direction for preaching a sermon at the funeral of, say, a special needs child (in two days!) you'll also find the sermons useful. The book doesn't cover every tragedy (divorce is conspicuously absent), but ...

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