Preaching the Farewell Discourse by L. Scott Kellum

book fare

This book by Scott Kellum has many good things. It’s a hybrid of sorts, and so is quite hard to categorize. I can’t decide if it’s best to put on my shelves of books on preaching or on the one with my books on the Gospel of John. I finally leaned toward gleaning what I can from it regarding expository preaching, but then keeping it with the commentaries on the Farewell Discourse in John 13-17.

I don’t think I could do his exact method, but probably that would not matter to him. There’s just several careless mistakes made that he felt strongly that preachers should correct. In his first chapter, he tries to develop an expository theory and touches on all the important things. He does run slightly aground, as is so common in these type of books, to presenting a narrowness that more or less conforms to his own style. No one could disagree with the need of arriving at the proper interpretation, but he almost seemed to feel that the application (singular, it appeared he felt) was just as obvious. I’m not quite sure that’s true.

In the next chapter, he covers the analyzing of literary structure and flow of thought. He gives you an in-depth structure for John 13-17 such as you might find in a good commentary, but uses it as a teaching tool to say that that kind of depth is required of a book’s full context to preach one passage. Of course, a preacher must have an idea of the overall theme of the Bible book, but his method might never work for someone who has weekly sermons to produce. Still, what he shares is many of the things that we ought to be thinking about.

What follows is a lot of great information, sermon sketches, background information, and outlines for this important prayer of Jesus. How he presented all this information was a design that could have been more straightforward, but was helpful. Though the book is clearly useful overall, it’s final rating for you may depend on your own style of sermon preparation. As help on this portion of the Gospel of John itself, it rates even higher. Check it out.


I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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