Cover Image: Putting the Truth to Work

Putting the Truth to Work:
The Theory and Practice of Biblical Application

Daniel Doriani (Presbyterian & Reformed, 2001)

Blurb Review


This book has one of the worst covers you are ever likely to see on any book anywhere, but this mustn't be allowed to put you off as the content is excellent. Doriani states that in his first fifteen years of preaching he had methods for interpreting the Bible but none for applying it. The net result of this was not really knowing why one sermon 'worked' and another 'failed' (though disaster is easier to analyse!) For really penetrating application often the best preachers seem to rely on raw skill, instinct and a few heartfelt ideals - but are there specific methodological principles which can be grasped by the rest of us? Doriani helpfully provides a theological explanation of what application actually is and then goes on to look at applying narrative, doctrinal and ethical texts. He also considers the shape of Christ-centred application. On a website dedicated to evangelical biblical theology this sort of book is particularly important: many of us are passionate about interpreting texts Christologically but do we press this home to our congregations in ways that are actually life-giving and transformative? How do we prevent biblical theology in preaching simply being a lecture? We often (tragically) spend least time on application in sermon preparation and, let's be honest, how many of us have ever bothered to grapple with application as a theological topic in its own right by reading a book on it? Put a brown paper bag over the cover and start here. Very highly recommended and urgently needed. (The reading that is, although probably applies to the bag too).


1. The Nature of Application 
2. God-centred Application 
3. The Interpreter 
4. The Seven Biblical Sources for Application 
5. The Four Aspects of Application 
6. Using the Four Questions 

Interlude: A Brief reminder on Interpretation and Context 

7. A Plan for Applying Narrative 
8. Issues in Applying Narrative Texts 
9. A Plan for the Application of Doctrine 
10. A Plan for the Application of Ethical Texts 
11. Issue sin Application of Ethical Texts 
12. Christ-centred Application 
13. Selecting a Text

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