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On the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons

John Broadus, one of the founding professors of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY), famously penned the classic homiletics textbook On the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons. The original was excellent but the “revised” copies you find around today . . . not so much. The following is one of the amazing stories behind the book.

Broadus’s homiletics class began the year [1865] with two students, but one dropped out midseason, and the remaining student was blind. Broadus could not use his accustomed assigned reading and recitation method, so he developed lectures that gave the student the complete course. Several years later Broadus revised and published these lectures under the title On the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons. Broadus had to borrow more than $1,000 to publish the book. The royalties quickly extinguished the debt. Reviewers praised the book, which was widely used as a textbook in American theological education even decades after his death.

From Gregory A. Wills, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1859-2009 (Oxford University Press, 2009), 64-65.

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