Friday, July 19, 2013

Book Review: Saving Eutychus

In Saving Eutychus, authors Gary Millar and Phil Campbell seek to deliver "fresh, honest, faithful and practical insights into preaching the whole word of God, Sunday by Sunday, without being dull."  

This could have been a how-to-preach-better-in-five-easy-steps kind of book, but it was not.  The authors made it a point to begin with the preacher's heart.  The authors' passionate appeal to depend on prayer all the while maintaing the central focus of preaching the Gospel  demonstrated their desire not just to be better preachers, but obedient children of God first and foremost. 

After laying the foundation of prayer and preaching the gospel, the book progresses into giving the reader 10 tips on how to improve one's sermons.  In discussing the importance of scripting one's sermons the author states:

It helps you think through in advance how you'll pace the flow of ideas, and writing it down commits you to expressing yourself in a way that's down-to-earth and accessible.  It also ensures you don't talk for too long.  And that could save a life. p. 47

I thoroughly enjoyed their shared commitment to preaching the Gospel throughout the Bible.  Living during a time when the Old Testament can be discarded as non-applicable to today's New Testament church, it is refreshing to see men committed to preach the whole Bible in context rather than man made principles and ideas.  

Our challenge, then, is to help people understand the flow of biblical theology.  Because when people grasp the Bible's redemptive storyline, the power of God's word is unleashed and the Spirit uses it to change lives.  p.90 

The authors spoke about the importance of critique in order to be pulled backed by particular temptations.  Their continual admonishment to preach with sincerity of heart was sobering.  

What we need most as preachers is to apply the gospel to ourselves--to the motivation, content and manner of our preaching.  often what wee need to do in response to critique is not to try harder.  Rather, we need to repent and run back into the arms of Jesus whom we preach.  p. 116

Their candor in sharing their own experiences, but mostly their challenges, helped to identify the common pitfalls one can fall into.  The diagrams and photograph of their sermon notes created clarity.  Seeing how they worked through the process of sermon writing was invaluable.  The peer review and its importance as well as the resources are wonderful tools.  Overall, this is great resource not only for those preaching the Word every Sunday, but anyone preaching the Word.   

I received complimentary copy of this book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an independent and unbiased review.

1 comment:

  1. Karen,

    Thanks for contributing to the blog tour.

    Shaun Tabatt
    Cross Focused Reviews


May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14