Books

The books in print are listed below:

STORIES THAT CONTINUE TO SPEAK TO US TODAY: LOOKING AGAIN AT THE PARABLES OF JESUS

Bill Tuck likes stories.  Short stories and long stories.  All kinds of stories.  That’s what makes this book so special.  Basically, it’s about the stories of Jesus, which are so important in themselves.  But Bill talks about them in the context of other stories, so that the stories and parts of stories all come alive for us.  Preachers will love this book, because they’ll want to tell the stories that Bill told.  So will other readers.  We all love stories, because they tell us about life and how to live it.  And that’s what makes this book a “must read.”

John Killinger, former pastor, and professor at Vanderbilt, Chicago, Princeton and Sanford University, and author of many books including God, the Devil & Harry Potter, and Fundamentals of Preaching

There are so many books of sermons on the parables. I have almost twenty just on my shelf? Could preachers and laypeople need another one? The answer is “Yes” when it is William P. Tuck’s Stories that Continue to Speak to Us Today: Looking Again at the Parables of Jesus. The author looks at seventeen parables through detailed biblical study, careful theological reflection, insightful hermeneutical consideration, and creative and engaging homiletical formulation. Several of the sermon titles reveal the penetrating quality of the book: “When Going to Church Doesn’t Mean Much,” “Emptiness Invites Unwanted Guests,” “The End of Privilege and the Invitation to Unlikely Guests,” “A Reason for Living,” “Squirming in the Net of Judgement.” With imaginative language, crisp turns of phrase, illustrations that are just right, the preacher brings these stories alive in such a way that they speak to us today. This book would be ideal background for sermons—include sermon series—and it would be an excellent resource for Bible study class or group as well as for individual reading.

Ronald J. Allen, Professor of Preaching and Gospels and Letters, Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis

LESSONS FROM OLD TESTAMENT CHARACTERS

With a close reading of major characters in the Old Testament, Tuck engages in deep and  creative theological reflection on their contributions to contemporary life.  He draws upon a lifetime of experience as both teacher and minister to address complex theological and ethical issues clearly and concisely, thus inviting readers to share in the adventure of biblical study that is enriching and transformative.  This book offers an important corrective for all those who think of the Old Testament as merely “old” and irrelevant for the life of faith.  The “life lessons” Tuck discerns in the biblical portraits of Moses, Jeremiah, Esther, Ruth, and a host of other exemplary characters deserve and reward thoughtful attention.

Samuel E. Balentine, Professor of Old Testament Emeritus, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, VA

JESUS’ JOURNEY TO THE CROSS

William Powell Tuck’s latest book Jesus’ Journey to the Cross offers a timely resource not just for faith development but for social engagement in this critical time. In his customary, creative manner, Dr. Tuck examines this ancient story, which we often presume to know, and finds new insights. He takes a closer look at a series of scenes and characters and combining the knowledge of a scholar and the sensitivity of a pastor, identifies the probing questions each part of the story asks us.

Chris Chapman, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Raleigh, N. C.

Markers along the Way: The Signs of Jesus in the Gospel of John

I have always loved the Gospel of John; it is full of elegant writing, and
every story about Jesus seems to contain layer upon layer of meaning and
significance. Ever the thoughtful and pastoral guide, Bill Tuck walks with
us through John’s Gospel, points out the signs of Jesus, and leads us to
explore more these layers of meaning—not only for Christ’s journey of
ministry, but also our journey of faithfulness to Christ. Markers along the
Way is an insightful and engaging travel companion.
—Daniel E. Glaze
Pastor, River Road Church, Richmond, Virginia

Bill Tuck has done it again. He writes freshly, creatively, and relevantly. He
is informed without being pedantic, eloquent without being cute, exegetical
without being boring. I particularly like the balance of scholarship and
“with it” present application. These studies could provide a platform for
building a series of sermons or lessons. You must read about the thread that
became a cable across Niagara. Take and read.
—Peter Rhea Jones
Professor Emeritus of New Testament
McAfee School

 

The Rebirth of the Church: Responding to the Call of Christian Discipleship

It is so refreshing to read a book from a minister who confesses in the preface that he has not given up on the church.  In what I consider to be one of his best books, Bill Tuck offers a careful analysis of the many challenges facing the modern church and then offers a multitude of specific challenges of his own for its rebirth. From a lifetime of study, reflection, and ministry, Tuck addresses an amazing number of issues that trouble pastors and congregations alike.  With the clarity, wisdom, and practicality that mark all his writing, he then offers concrete and specific perspectives and approaches to address these matters.  Of the many books I have on my shelves about what is wrong with the church and how to fix it, this is by far the most comprehensive, the most biblical, the most theological, and the most doable.  His conclusion, “My Dream for the Church”, is not only an excellent summary of his book, but I also found it to be my dream as well.  I believe you may also find it to be yours.

Ronald Higdon, Pastor Emeritus Broadway Baptist Church, Louisville, KY., author of In Changing Times, Why Doesn’t God Do Something?

Conversations with My Grandchildren about God, Religion, and Life

Don’t let the title fool you. This is not some cutesy family collection of children’s sayings and wise responses from grandparents. This is hard core reflections on faith and life. This is Theology 101, or maybe even 102. From Dr. Bill Tuck’s mind and heart come words that have been seasoned from years of reading, thinking, praying, and being both pastor and Daddy. Tuck’s underlying premise is that we, as we grow in age, so should our understanding of faith grow: “Clinging to childish notions of God when a person has matured in all other areas of his [her] life is to commit spiritual suicide.” And fortunate for us, the questions are deep, the language is clear, and the answers are both deeply profound and simple. This book is for all of us.

Dr. Linda McKinnish Bridges, President, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Virginia

 

This is a wise, mature reflection on many aspects of Christian faith and ethics, from a seasoned progressive Baptist pastor who knows what he is talking about. Highly recommended.

Dr. David P. Gushee, Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics Director, Center for Theology & Public Life, Mercer University

Beginning and Ending a Pastorate–

Tuck once again shares decades of insight and wisdom in the engaging and accessible Beginning and Ending a Pastorate.  While this book provides sage counsel for times of pastoral transition, it actually is of great value for all pastors and congregations to read, study, and discuss – regardless of whether a pastorate is at its beginning, middle, or end.  Eminently practical and deeply theological, Tuck’s writing paints the picture of what it means to be a faithful pastor, and a faithful congregation.

Rev. Dr. Lolly Dominski, PhD., Co-Pastor, Morton Grove Community Church, Adjunct Professor of Reformed Worship, McCormick Theological Seminary

The Difficult Sayings of Jesus—

Every Christian has the experience of reading along in the Gospels and coming to a saying of Jesus that brings a person up short. Sometimes we puzzle over the clarity of the verse. Sometimes we puzzle over the meaning. Sometimes, a saying seems to have a hard edge that is out of character for how we think of Jesus. Noted preacher and scholar of preaching, William Powell Tuck, looks at 15 such sermons ranging from whether Jesus was serious about cutting off a hand that offends you through Jesus’ seemingly intractable teaching on divorce to what Jesus might mean by eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking his blood. In each case, Tuck is exegetically careful to place the text in its historical and literary context so as to identify what the text really means.  He is astute in thinking about the theological claims of the text. And he is hermeneutically pastoral in finding illuminating, practical, and compassionate interpretations. The sermons are lively. They move well. And the stories are worth the price of the book. Preachers and other readers will discover that if they face into these hard sayings in the company of wise guide William Powell Tuck, they will come away ever more impressed with the wisdom of Jesus.

Ronald J. Allen, Professor of Preaching, and Gospels and Letters, Christian Theological Seminary

A pastoral treasure, rich and full of insight based on years of pastoral experience and meditation on scriptures, The Difficult Sayings of Jesus could serve as a valuable handbook for ministers or serious students of Christian faith and would enrich and enliven classes in Christian spirituality, retreats, or personal meditation.

E. Glenn Hinson, Emeritus Professor of Spirituality and Church History, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond

 

Which Voice Will You Follow? Hearing and Answering Christ’s Call–

This book is an excellent treatment of the question at the heart of all Christian belief and action, namely, how to think and behave as one who has “the mind of Christ” (Phil. 2:5). Tuck brings his years as pastor and professor to this insightful overview which blends biblical, theological and homiletical material. He speaks to the ecological crisis as well as the problem of personal moral development. Ministers seeking help for sermons, teachers developing materials for classes, or researchers needing solid guidance will find this a ready and reliable resource to which they will turn again and again.

Paul D. Simmons, Clinical Professor, University of Louisville School of Medicine & Dentistry

The Abiding Presence: Communion Meditations–

The Abiding Presence is a great deal more than a collection of well-illustrated communion meditations. For too many of us the communion service has been an unrelated addendum to worship. This book argues convincingly that communion should be the central focus of a well-integrated worship program. More than that, these meditations provide the biblical background for the communion meal, a theological understanding of communion, and a historical view of its development in the life of the church. Upon reading this book you can never approach communion in a casual or shallow fashion again, for this sacred meal proclaims the basic truth of our faith: Jesus Christ is our living Lord who is present with us as we worship.

Tom Graves, President Emeritus of Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Virginia

A Pastoral Prophet: Sermons and Prayers of Wayne E. Oates (editor)–The heart and soul of a gifted spiritual mentor often elude paper and pen, but this compendium of sermons and prayers of Wayne Oates are a faithful and keen reflection of a man who shaped the ministry of many pastors and teachers. Bill Tuck has done us all an enduring favor by capturing the substance of a rabboni who blended psychology and religion into messages of eternal insight. Daniel G. Bagby, Ph.D. Theodore F. Adams Emeritus Professor of Pastoral Care, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond.

Read these sermons and prayers and look directly into the heart of Wayne Oates.   He was a consummate counselor, theologian, and writer, but first of all he was a pastor. His identity—his very heart—was that of a pastor to people in the midst of life’s struggles. No struggle was foreign to him: depression, divorce, suicide, grief: he shied away from nothing. He gave voice to our deepest hurts, then followed with words we long to hear: you are not alone. Kay Shurden, Ed.D. Associate Professor Emeritus, Clinical Education, Mercer University School of Medicine, Macon, GA

The Forgotten Beatitude: Worshiping through Stewardship–Bill Tuck has delivered another useful tool for the Preaching Pastor and Congregation.  This collection of sermons goes a long way in helping Pastor and Parish understand the depth of Stewardship.  He begins with the simplicity of a one sentence parable and from there unpacks some of the best understanding for 21st Century Christian generosity!  This is certainly a needed response to perhaps the most challenging of topics! Bo Prosser, Ed. D., Coordinator of Organizational Relationships, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Decatur, GA

Star Thrower: A Pastor’s Handbook–This is the most valuable compendium of information for ministers I have ever seen. If I had possessed it when I was starting my ministry, I would have been twice as effective as I was without it — no, three or four times. I commend it to all pastors — even those who may have only a few years remaining in which to employ its shining wisdom.  If it were possible to earn a PhD in pastoral insight, Bill Tuck would have at least three or four. An inveterate pastor who has served many churches, he has restlessly continued to review and improve his craft, so that he could easily be called the Dean of American Pastoral Studies. Now he has distilled in this highly readable book the essence of all his vast knowledge, so that any minister, at whatever stage of his or her life, can enjoy and profit from it. John Killinger, former professor at Vanderbilt Divinity School, pastor and author of many books, including The Tender Shepherd and The Fundamentals of Preaching

A Positive Word for Christian Lamenting: Funeral Homilies–From years of rich pastoral experience comes a book of twenty-six homilies addressing a wide variety of losses including a difficult murder and suicide, the death of a child, a death at Christmas time, and the losses of his own mother and father. Tuck well exceeds his stated goal of assisting in the grieving process and celebrating life. His homilies are full of grace, creativity, and solid biblical exegesis. While many books on funerals offer good generic material, I have found none that speak to such a wide range of losses with such insight and sensitivity. This is a book not only for ministers but for all of those who would like to better understand their own grief and better understand how to stand with others who grieve. It is indeed a positive and most instructive word for Christian lamenting. Dr. Ronald Higdon, Pastor Emeritus Broadway Baptist Church, Louisville, KY and author of Surviving a Son’s Suicide and In Changing Times: A Guide for Reflection and Celebration

Holidays, Holy Days & Special Days: Preaching through the Year—Dr. Tuck’s sermons are sure to stoke a fire in the hearts of those who read this worthy volume. While a wise preacher will not use these sermons verbatim, as if they were one’s own inspiration and creativity, they will surely encourage any preacher to consider a number of potential approaches for preaching these significant occasions. Preachers of varied worship traditions will be greatly aided by these inspiring and truly biblical messages. Insight is provided that will encourage preachers in the grand work of gospel proclamation. These sermons are solidly rooted in Scripture and in the contemporary world. They rise up from within God’s church and are an offering to God’s church. Lee McGlone, Editor, The Minister’s Manual

A Revolutionary Gospel: Salvation in the Theology of Walter Rauschenbusch— A major addition to Rauschenbusch studies! Impressively researched and cogently argued, A Revolutionary Gospel corrects both popular and scholarly misinterpretations of the leading theologian of the Social Gospel and throws new light on the theological underpinnings of that Gospel, notably in Rauschenbusch’s understanding of sin and salvation. Written in an engaging style, the book should claim the attention of Rauschenbusch specialists, ethicists, Baptist historians, seminarians, and ordinary saints trying to live a relevant faith in culture not unlike the one Rauschenbusch confronted.—E. GLENN HINSON, Emeritus Professor of Spirituality and John Loftis Professor of Church History, Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond

Overcoming Sermon Block: The Preacher’s Workshop—“A must read for those who have just begun preaching, as well as a welcome refresher for those who consider themselves preaching veterans.” Doug Dortch.  “A preacher might expect a book on overcoming sermon block to peddle a gimmick or a new magic pill. Instead, the noted William Powell Tuck advises the minister towards picking starting points, preparing, preaching, and evaluating, as part of a long arc of a preaching life. Preachers keep their wells fresh by keeping their calls in mind, taking the long look, respecting and engaging the text imaginatively, being clear, beginning and ending in ways that serve the sermon, using word pictures appropriately, and embodying the message with feeling consistent with a style that fits the preacher and serves communication.” Ronald Allen.

Lord, I Keep Getting a Busy Signal: Reaching for a Better Spiritual Connection—“Impressively grounded in scripture, theology, and experience, Lord, I Keep Getting a Busy Signal will stretch your mind, touch your heart, and intensify your desire to give God first place in your life.” E. Glen Hinson.  “Buy it, read it, and, above all, practice it. Your whole life will be different for having done so.” John Killinger.

The Way for All Seasons: Reflections on the Beatitudes for the 21st Century—The ideas of happiness which Jesus spoke of in the Beatitudes stand in marked contrast to the standards of the world. This book seeks to offer guidance in understanding Jesus’ teachings and how to live them in our everyday lives.

Facing Grief and Death: Living with Dying—“Tuck helps readers face gently, realistically, and reasonably the inevitable fact of grief and death. People who have been hesitant to think and to talk about grief and death need to read this book. It has been helpful for me in my personal life and in my pastoral ministry of helping people cope with death and grief.”
Harold T. Bryson

The Last Words from the Cross— “Bill Tuck has provided us with a masterful interpretation of the 7 last words of Christ with his scholarly biblical analysis, solid theological research, and vivid illustrations. His eminently readable presentation makes the crucial issues of faith understandable and accessible for laity and clergy alike.” Tom Graves

 The Church Under the Cross—“Tuck provides his readers with biblical information and theological wisdom about the cross of Jesus not to make everything about the cross clear but to help the readers appreciate the mystery of the crucified God. I found the good news of Jesus presented in a fresh, realistic, warm, encouraging, and interesting way.” Fisher Humphreys

The Journey to the Undiscovered Country: What’s Beyond Death?—“Bill Tuck is wise enough not to give us all the answers to what happens after we die… He can’t be sure. He hasn’t been there. But the way he talks about it makes me almost eager to be born, to discover for myself what’s waiting beyond the  womb of my earthly existence.” Jim Somerville

Modern Shapers of Baptist Thought in America—“This book is a wonderful opportunity to spend  time with  imaginative leaders who have shaped, warmed and challenged us.” John Upton. “This generation and future generations of Baptists will understand our heritage better because of the invaluable contribution Dr. Tuck has made.” Emmanuel L. McCall.

A Pastor Preaching: Toward a Theology of the Proclaimed Word—“This book is quite simply the best preaching book I have ever read. Bill Tuck has distilled into its pages a lifetime of wide reading, deep thinking, sensitive pastoring, and superb sermonizing, so that it is a complete homiletical education in of of itself. It belongs on a shelf of its own, above all other books on the subject.” John Killinger.

The Pulpit Ministry of the Pastors of the River Road Church, Baptist (editor)—“You are wasting your time in telling me that preachers and preaching do not matter. And William Tuck, creative as always, devised in this book a new way to whet the appetite for local church history.” Walter Shurden.

“You can read this book as an insightful church history, as a fine collection of sophisticated sermons, as a fascinating sociological study of a changing church community of as simply biographical glimpses of five outstanding religious leaders of our day.” Tom Graves

The Church in Today’s World

“This book affirms the importance of the Church in today’s world without denying its weaknesses and warts. It attests its biblical function and calls us to remember the radical and revolutionary nature of the Church which Jesus founded.”

 

 Authentic Evangelism: Sharing the Good News with Sense and Sensitivity.  “This book represents pastoral evangelism at its best. Tuck helps readers discover the biblical beauty and the theological fragrance of evangelism.” Delos Miles

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Is for the Young—Whatever Their Age—“In this volume, a renowned pastor shares sixteen messages that proclaim with a child’s wide-eyed wonder the mystery of the Incarnation and calls for putting all our holiday celebrations in the unique awareness of this central event.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facing Life’s Ups and Downs—”Tuck makes the important connection between religion and daily living. He shows how our faith can help us deal with circumstances that try to twist and distort us in the most difficult and trying ways, He shows us how our faith strengthens us to meet the struggles we confront.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love as a Way of Living–-“William Tuck has done for our generation what     Henry Drummond and C. S. Lewis did for theirs; he has written about love that is beautiful, wise, and bracing. It is full of interesting stories, rich reflections, and helpful pastoral counsel. The author vindicates his title by displaying how love is indeed a way of living—the faithful Christian way.”  Fisher Humphreys

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Past the Pain: Making Sense of Life’s Darkness—“Since the book of Job and before, we have wrestled with the mystery of human suffering. This book is one of the finest evocations of that struggle I have seen. While taking our pain and darkness with utter seriousness, it marshals with fresh eloquence the reasons for looking beyond them to the hope that comes from the dawn.” John Killinger

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Baptist Tradition—“Bill Tuck has done us a real service. Most adult church members do not have a ‘Christian education.’ They know stories from the Bible they were taught when children. Our Baptist Tradition is two things rolled into one. It is a basic theology—that is, it organizes our ideas of God. But the second service preformed by this book may be more important for a Baptist audience. It gives a Baptist interpretation to our ideas about God.” Cecil E. Sherman

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Bible as Our Guide for Spiritual Growth—This book seeks to help lay persons understand the strange world within the Bible and to discover its richness and guidance for life. It provides ways to understand and love the Bible better as its meaning is clarified for the modern reader. Each chapter is presented in a non-technical way to help laypersons see the modern critical investigation of the Bible and how that approach opens up the truth of the Bible more effectively.

 

 

 

 

 

The Compelling Faces of Jesus— “Tuck’s book about Jesus is a deeply affecting account of the Lord, written with a sure grasp both of the modern history of the quest for the historical Jesus and of the longer history of the universal church’s attempts to understand the person of Jesus in Christological terms. This book is inspiring not despite of, but because, it is so intensely theological. For example, the chapter about Jesus as a teacher contains a wonderful summary of Jesus’ message together with insights into how he communicated that message and it also makes the enormously important Christological point that Jesus placed himself at the center of his teachings.” Fisher Humphreys

 

 

 

 

The Left Behind Fantasy: The Theology Behind the Left Behind Tales— “This book provides solid scholarship by which to examine the claims and interpretations in the Left Behind novels. The psychological imagery created by the series may never be undone. But this book can be a helpful beginning to mending minds and recovering a solid and sensible biblical theology that is true to the text and historical facts. Those fascinated by the Left Behind series now have an opportunity to expand their vision and deepen their understanding of apocalyptic.” Paul D. Simmons

 

 

 

 

 The Lord’s Prayer Today— Tuck helps the reader move beyond the rote repetition of the Lord’s Prayer and examines each phrase in the prayer to explore the depths of its meaning for our daily lives. The phrases of the Lord’s Prayer move us to focus on the divine presence of God and remind us of our ultimate dependence on God and our responsibility to others.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

The Ten Commandments: Their Meaning Today—“Too many postmodern voices claim that absolutes are passé. Tuck’s interpretation of these ancient laws reminds us that rules adhered to are positive, not negative. They do not bind; they free. These ten principles are not out of date, and this book by a veteran pastor and teacher will be an asset to anyone who wants to live a meaningful and moral life.” Mike Clingenpeel

 

 

 

 

 

Through the Eyes of a Child— “Bill Tuck brings to the people of the pew, the secular but devout skeptic about the religion he or she sees, a breath of invigorating fresh air to breathe as we daily sense the dullness of some adult religion around us. He has spoken clearly and convincingly. Reading it enchanted me.” Wayne E. Oates

 

 

 

 

BOOKS NOT IN PRINT

Knowing God: Religious Knowledge in the Theology of John Baillie (University Press of America, 1978), 139 pages.

A Glorious Vision (Friar Press, 1998), 140 pages

Ministry: An Ecumenical Challenge, editor and contributor (Kentucky Council of Churches, 1988), 69 pages.

The Struggle for Meaning, editor and contributor (Judson Press, 1977), 144 pages.