The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church
is a multivolume study by Hughes Oliphant Old that explores the history of preaching from the words of Moses at Mount Sinai through modern times. In Volume 4, The Age of the Reformation
, Old focuses on changes in preaching due to the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation. This is the pivotal volume in Old's project, covering as it does not only what the Reformers and Counter-Reformers preached but also their reform of preaching itself. Old traces the main events and people involved in the development of preaching at this time -- Luther, Calvin, Thomas of Villanova, Francis Xavier, William Perkins, John Donne, Johann Gerhard, Jacques Bossuet, and many more -- while also giving due attention to how preaching was itself an act of worship.
"Studying these volumes is like walking around a great cathedral: every section, however distinctive, unites in a grand design whose aim is to restore preaching to its rightful place. This multivolume work is easily the best history of preaching ever written, one that will serve generations of those whose faith comes by hearing."
James F. Kay
"Ecumenical in breadth, magisterial in authority, and pastoral in intentionality, Old's multivolume history of preaching is a landmark in American intellectual history. Old views preaching as an act of worship, and his own prodigious scholarship likewise stands in service to God. Old has bequeathed to the church of the twenty-first century the definitive history of preaching, a spiritual feast for scholars and preachers alike for years and years to come."
"I consider this series by Old to be most timely. The current unfortunate trend to dumb down worship with less Scripture and with popular topical sermons needs the corrective offered in this comprehensive and readable work."
"Ample bibliography divided by chapters and a good index make this an invaluable reference work for anyone studying preaching."