The issues are clear. If one preaches Christ, how does one avoid preaching oneself? How do you avoid the fall into Narcissus' pond? What allows one's humility to show? How much does one dare reveal about oneself?
Thulin handles these questions with sensitivity and skill, using his own and others' sermons for examples and critique. He carefully and incisively describes four types of personal story available to preachers, the features and functions of each, and the degree of the preacher's self-disclosure allowed by each. Most of his book deals with the personal story as self-portrayal, that type being the most comprehensive form of first person narrative. An appendix includes three sermons, one each by Edmund Steimle, Martin Luther King, Jr., and John Vannorsdall, often used to disclose the intent of Thulin's I in this book.