Passion in the Pulpit: How to Exegete the Emotion of Scripture

Passion in the Pulpit: How to Exegete the Emotion of Scripture

Passion in the Pulpit: How to Exegete the Emotion of Scripture

Passion in the Pulpit: How to Exegete the Emotion of Scripture


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Biblical exegesis doesn’t stop with the words alone. Faithful preachers exegete the emotion of the text as well.

It’s easy to let our own personalities dictate the emotional dimension of our sermons, but the best preachers mirror the Bible’s emotive intent in their sermons. In Passion in the Pulpit, Jerry Vines and Adam Dooley will teach you how to exegete not just the verbal content of Scripture, but its emotional appeal as well. They show you the role the Bible’s emotional intent should play in each stage of sermon prep, and:

  • Offer exegetical steps to discern the biblical pathos
  • Teach you how to avoid manipulation while making your sermons emotional
  • Help you determine the appropriate limitations of emotional appeal
  • Give you verbal, vocal, and visual techniques to help convey the biblical emotional intent in your sermons

When we elevate the Bible’s emotional intent above our own, we preach truth rather than personality.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802496843
Publisher: Moody Publishers
Publication date: 07/03/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 208
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

DR. JERRY VINES (B.A., Mercer University; Th.D., Luther Rice Seminary; PhD, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) retired as pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida in 2006, where he served for 40 years. He served two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Jerry is author of a number of books including Power in the Pulpit: How to Prepare and Deliver Expository Sermons, and A Practical Guide to Sermon Preparation. He and his wife, Janet, have four adult children and five grandchildren.

DR. ADAM DOOLEY serves as the senior pastor of Sunnyvale First Baptist Church on the northeast side of Dallas. He is a two-time graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he has also served as an adjunct professor. He is married to Heather, and they have three sons and one daughter.

Table of Contents

Foreword 11

Introduction: Whatever Happened to Pathos? 15

Part 1 Understanding the Challenge

1 The Missing Exegetical Link 23

2 Beware of Personality-Driven Preaching 37

3 Motivate, Don't Manipulate 49

Part 2 Discerning the Emotive Design of a Text

4 Know the Genre 63

5 Probe the Vocabulary and Syntax 77

6 Examine the World Behind the Text 91

7 Examine the World in Front of the Text 105

8 Gauge the Reactions 119

Part 3 Employing Persuasive Techniques

9 Authenticity, Hypocrisy, and Heartfelt Preaching 137

10 Verbal Strategies to Move Your Audience 151

11 Vocal Strategies to Move Your Audience 167

12 Visual Strategies to Move Your Audience 181

Conclusion 195

Acknowledgments 197

Notes 199

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Passion in the Pulpit by Jerry Vines and Adam Dooley is a must-read for every person who stands to preach. The man of God is called and charged with one responsibility—preach the Word. Proclaiming the Word is more than dispensing truth. If that is the only goal, the result will be dry preaching that produces dry Christians. The goal should always be passionate proclamation that produces passionate followers of Jesus. Masterfully, Vines and Dooley provide the proclaimer with understanding and techniques to deliver the passion and emotion of the given text in order to connect with the heart of the listener. I enthusiastically commend this book to all practitioners of preaching.

Frank Cox

Senior Pastor North Metro Baptist Church, Lawrenceville, GA


It would be difficult to find two more competent preachers of God’s Word than Jerry Vines and Adam Dooley. These two remarkable preachers have combined their efforts to capture the essence of biblical passion. This moves us beyond the exuberance of human energy and enthusiasm to allowing the passion and pathos of the biblical passage itself to be expressed through the preaching of God’s Word. In these pages, the preacher is relieved of having to focus on his own abilities of communication to revealing the passion of the text itself. Here is a guide to linking the emotion of the Holy Spirit in the inspired text itself to the proclamation of the Word of God. You will sail in uncharted waters in these pages and will sharpen your ability to genuinely touch the emotions of the hearers with the emotion and passion of Scripture.

Jimmy Draper

President Emeritus, LifeWay



Adam Dooley and Jerry Vines have taken their combined preaching experience and years of study to produce a resource that walks the preacher through a process for identifying, crafting, and proclaiming the emotion of a text. This book is a significant contribution to the field of preaching. It should be required reading for every pastor.


Robby Gallaty

Pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church

Author of Preaching for the Rest of Us



To say that my life and ministry has been impacted by the leadership and example of Jerry Vines would be a major understatement. I have been truly blessed and encouraged through Vines’s many decades of faithful service to Christ, His church, and the pulpit. Vines’s new book, along with the encouraging contribution of Adam Dooley, will be one that will challenge you to a more committed and passionate pulpit ministry. I encourage you to read it, digest it, ponder it, and pray over it as it helps you continue to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout your ministry. Thank you Vines and Dooley for pouring your heart into this book, Passion in the Pulpit, to help preachers like me do a better job of pointing people to Jesus.


Jonathan Falwell

Pastor, Thomas Road Baptist Church, Lynchburg, Virginia



I am so thankful for a book on preaching that recognizes the role of emotion in preparing and delivering biblical sermons. The concept of pathos drives this work . . . the genuine pathos of the biblical text mixing with the pathos of the Bible preacher to produce biblical, actionable pathos in the hearers. Vines and Dooley believe that the Bible is meant to stir the soul. Their instruction will help preachers develop soul-stirring messages. Jerry Vines and Adam Dooley make quite a team and Passion in the Pulpit is quite a book.


Jimmy Scroggins

Lead Pastor, Family Church, West Palm Beach, Florida



Preaching with courageous conviction and compelling passion is essential for effective communication. Jerry Vines and Adam Dooley offer the tools and techniques to deliver the message with life changing impact. I highly recommend this book to all preachers and teachers of the Word of God. 


Jack Graham

Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church



Passion in the Pulpit is a must-read for anyone who longs to be a more dynamic communicator of God’s Word. Jerry Vines and Adam Dooley, two of the most effective expositors of Scripture in the world today, combine their years of experience to offer practical advice to every pastor. I highly recommend this book to any preacher or teacher of God’s Word.


Robert Jeffress

Pastor, First Baptist Church, Dallas

Teacher, Pathway to Victory


In Passion in the Pulpit, a modern-day Moses and Joshua (Jerry Vines and Adam Dooley) teach us to convey faithfully the passionate convictions of the inspired authors of Scripture. This well-written manual distills exegetical insights and decades of personal experience. It is the mentoring most pastors are longing for in an engaging book! I’m delighted to enthusiastically commend this book to both new and seasoned preachers wishing to grow in effective exposition.


Robert L. Plummer

Chairman, New Testament Department; professor of New Testament Interpretation

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary


It was my privilege to be a seminary classmate with Jerry Vines. I’ve followed his ministry for more than half a century and heard him preach on many occasions in different venues. In every setting he preached with the passion he writes about. My heart and mind were always stirred as he expounded the truth he lived. Vines and Dooley have joined their preaching skills, honed in the study and the marketplace of the people they have pastored, to assist us in our calling to feed the flock. Their words will bring insight, information, and inspiration and feed the desire of all who desire to grow in communicating the Word that transforms lives for now and forever.

Jim Henry

Pastor Emeritus, First Baptist Church, Orlando, Florida



If there was ever a book to speak about passionately, it is the Bible. In Passion in the Pulpit, Jerry Vines and Adam Dooley write to this end not only with the expertise of a scholar but with the heart of a pastor and preacher. You will find it a valuable resource to add to your library!


Nick Floyd

Lead Teaching Pastor, Staff Leader, Cross Church, Northwest Arkansas



Whenever Jerry Vines speaks about preaching, I listen. For decades Vines has been one of if not the premier homiletician in the Southern Baptist Convention. In his latest work, Passion in the Pulpit, Vines joins Adam Dooley to remind us that preachers must not only be true to the content of the biblical text, but also faithful to the various emotions emitted from the text. In the words of Vines, a faithful preacher must “convey the emotions of the text rather than [his] personal mood.” Vines and Dooley have given Bible preachers everywhere a masterpiece for our weekly hermeneutical and homiletical work.

Steve Gaines

Senior Pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, TN

President of the Southern Baptist Convention


The great revivalist Lyman Beecher was once a visitor in a church worship service and the man sitting next to him asked, “What would you do if the man next to you in church went to sleep?” Beecher replied, “I would send an usher to go wake up the preacher.” Passion in the Pulpit by Jerry Vines and Adam Dooley is a wake-up call to preachers. The vast majority of churches are hemorrhaging in attendance in these days. Why? They are not merely interested in just hearing another sermon; they want to see the fire of God fall from heaven in our preaching.

This third volume in Vines’s Pulpit trilogy is poignant, practical, and potent, because although it deals with strategies, genres, concepts, and methods, it primarily breathes life into preaching. The responsibility of preaching is a superhuman task, which cannot be accomplished without supernatural power. Vines and Dooley contend that those who carefully exegete their text and depend upon divine unction are able to engage in commendable “heart preaching.”


J. Gerald Harris

Senior Pastor First Baptist Church of Blue Ridge

Editor of The Christian Index


Preaching properly attempted is by definition passionate. Yet much of the passion is manipulation and not a little preaching is passionless. What a happiness to see the subject skillfully and passionately addressed by two of the finest practitioners, Jerry Vines and Adam Dooley. Follow this book and you will awaken a preacher, a congregation, and a ministry!


Paige Patterson

Southwestern Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas


If you knew Jerry Vines or Adam Dooley, you’d know there’s nothing in either one of them that gives you the impression their personality is gregarious, outgoing, or even extroverted. But when they get behind the pulpit and open up God’s Word, get ready. Something happens . . . something supernatural. It’s as if they no longer exist. Something takes over those personalities. That something is Someone. And that Someone is the Holy Spirit that gives them passion. What is that something? It is the Word of God. As you read Passion in the Pulpit, you’ll see it’s not the story of two preachers. It’s the story of how the Word of God preached in the power of God to the people of God in the house of God evokes pathos, emotion, and conviction. This book is worth the read. They are worth the endorsement.

Ken Whitten

Senior Pastor, Idlewild Baptist Church


When the Word of God grips the preacher, then the passion about this Word will explode through his preaching! This does not start in the pulpit, but in the life and study of the preacher. This is why every preacher needs to read this powerful book by Jerry Vines and Adam Dooley. It will challenge them to have a much greater passion in the pulpit!

Ronnie Floyd

Senior Pastor, Cross Church

President, National Day of Prayer

Past President, Southern Baptist Convention

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