One of the preeminent preachers “in modern church history” was honored March 3 at Samford University with the public release of a new book, Our Sufficiency Is of God: Essays on Preaching in Honor of Gardner C. Taylor.
Taylor, who was ill and could not be present for the event, was called “one of the great servants of God over the last half century” by Timothy George, dean of Samford’s Beeson Divinity School. “He may be the greatest proclaimer of the Gospel in the history of the modern church.”
George was a co-editor of the new book, along with Robert Smith Jr. of the Beeson faculty, and James Earl Massey, dean emeritus of the Anderson (Ind.) University theology school. The book release was held in conjunction with the annual Conger Lectures on Biblical Preaching, with Massey as guest speaker. The event also coincided with Massey’s 80th birthday. Earlier, George and Massey had participated in an event honoring Taylor co-sponsored by Beeson and Duke Divinity School, near Taylor’s home in Raleigh, N.C.
The book includes 21 essays by a broad spectrum of preachers and academicians. No one “said no” when asked to participate in the project, Massey said.
“It was a tremendous testament that they all set aside what they were doing to honor Dr. Taylor,” Massey added. “When they all produced something completely new for this volume, we knew that we had something special.”
George told the assembled guests of the connections between Taylor, Massey and the Beeson Divinity School through the years. Massey spoke at the divinity school’s first pastors school in 1988. Taylor presented the first Conger Lectures in 1993.
Smith called Taylor and Massey “great men of God. They stayed in the church and in the academic. Their lives are forever linked here and for eternity.”
The book was released by Mercer University Press.