Albert N. Martin (Trinity Church, Montville, NJ) published a little booklet in 1967 titled “What’s Wrong with Preaching Today” (The Banner of Truth Trust). Martin answers the question (title) in two ways, first he looks at the Man, then looks at the Message. This is a short (29 pages) but powerful read arguing for preaching that is exegetically founded and textually oriented.
Dealing specifically with the Message Martin contends that modern preaching lacks power for a couple of reasons. First, ‘there is a lack of biblical content’. This is the very foundation of expository preaching (it exposes God’s word). Martin argues that every sermon should be ‘packed full of solid biblical substance, so that one feels that standing between him and the preacher is a wall of divine truth.’
Beyond that, modern preaching lacks in ‘solid doctrinal substance’. Martin explains that doctrinal preaching is disciplined by the framework of the whole counsel of God. Martin writes that solid preaching “seeks to set every individual facet of truth into the context of the whole spectrum of divine truth” (This is commonly known as Biblical Theology).
Lastly, Martin gives much effort to the area of practical application. Martin desires that preachers should labor in order that “men see the implications of the content and doctrine, so that they may know how to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.” This means that the preacher spells out the necessity and nature of evangelical repentance, present the whole Christ to the whole man, and clearly distinguish the traits of a true believer. This is preaching that presents the truths of God in an urgent, orderly, and direct manner.
This is one booklet that I would recommend all pastors read annually, it is clear and convicting.