by JUSTIN TAYLOR

How to Preach without Putting People to Sleep

On the new book, Saving Eutychus: How to Preach God’s Word and Keep People Awake by Gary Millar and Phil Campbell:

“I have read books on how to make sure your sermon is interesting, and I have read books on how to make sure your sermon is faithful to the text, but this book wants your sermon to be both. If I could, I would make this little book mandatory reading for seminarians everywhere, and then urge them to read it a couple more times during the course of their ministry. It avoids cutesy and manipulative suggestions, and makes its practical points while urging integrity, faithfulness, and imagination. Many books on preaching are published every year; this one is a “must.”
—D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“This book deserves to be included in the ‘must read’ category for preachers. It is readable, which always helps! And, as we would expect, it is biblical and practical. But it is also funny and forthright in a way that made me re-evaluate my preaching and resolve with God’s help to improve. This is a different book from Lloyd-Jones’ Preaching and Preachers and Between Two Worlds by John Stott, but it may prove to be just as influential.”
—Alistair Begg, Senior Pastor, Parkside Church, Cleveland, OH

“Some writing so solemnly exalts the task of preaching, or so heavily complicates the method, it depresses and discourages ordinary mortals like me into thinking we can never really do it and should just give up. Since most preachers feel that every Sunday night anyway, such books don’t really help the cause! This one does. I like it because it is short, (lighthearted but not lightweight), very human, and very much to the point. I am involved in training preachers, but I still have plenty to learn. I am very grateful for a resource that will both help me, and help me in helping others—with enjoyment, encouragement and some fun along the way!”
– William JU Philip, Senior Minister, The Tron Church, Glasgow

“This book teems with ‘plusses’: it is short (as a tome that takes Eutychus as its poster boy must be); it is stretching (the authors force one to deal with longer texts—and leave one asking, “Why can’t I summarize extended passages like that?”); it is specific (they include actual sermons with critique); it is searching (in case you skip the first chapter, ‘pray’ occurs eight times in the conclusion); and stirring (you still want to preach when you’ve finished reading). If you don’t buy the book, don’t cry if Eutychus isn’t saved!”
—Dale Ralph Davis, Bible expositor and author

For the rest of the reviews…

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