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Friday, April 20, 2012

"Show Me How to Illustrate Evangelistic Sermons"

TITLE: Show Me How to Illustrate Evangelistic Sermons: A Guide for Pastors and Speakers (Show Me How Series)
AUTHOR: R. Larry Moyer
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2012, (368 pages).

This is Book #2 of a series of Evangelistic Sermons by Larry Moyer. The review for book #1 was published yesterday here.

Moyer provides this companion volume to the first book that can be a useful reference for preachers, pastors, and teachers.  In a nutshell, illustrations need to be relevant, pertinent, sufficient, engaging, believable, understandable, and appropriate.  He then provides a library of illustrations that cover three major aspects of an evangelistic sermons: Sin, Substitution, and Saving Faith.

This book shows us the hows, the whats and the whys on using illustrations in sermons. It gives readers a one-volume collection of illustrations, checklist, and topics. What is most useful for me is the way in which the author guides readers on the use of each illustration, with "Possible Entrance" and "Possible Exit" like parenthesis of each illustration. That to me is in itself worth the price of the book.

My General Comments (Both books)

These two books form an important resource for all preachers and teachers. In fact, sermons ought to be evangelistic as the Word of God needs to be constantly preached to both believers and unbelievers. The latter needs to hear the good news. The former needs to be reminded of the gospel. I find the book useful for three reasons. Firstly, it shows us what expository preaching really is and that evangelistic sermons ought to be the staple of every Church. As a student of Dr Haddon Robinson, I find myself nodding my head at every page I turn. Moyer has applied Haddon's teachings in many ways, faithfully and diligently. Secondly, it reminds all preachers that preaching is hard work and not to be taken lightly. This hard work includes the need to continue to improve our speaking and communicating skills, the need to use fresh examples, and the need to continue learning and growing as students of the Word. Thirdly, this book is a resource that preachers can readily use when they preach. Although the title of the book refers to 'evangelistic sermons,' the illustrations are so good that they can be readily applied in many different kinds of messages. In fact, this book may very well encourage preachers to learn and to collect more illustrations from other sources, especially from a more personalized perspective. What I particularly like in this book is the way the author shows us 'possible entrance' and the 'possible exit' of each illustration. That easily is worth the price of the book.

That said, I have a few observations which I hope to see greater improvement. Firstly, it will have been better for the two books to be combined into one volume. For those of us with library of books, it is so easy to pick up one book and then misplace the other. Moreover, if not for the blog tour requirement, I will not have noticed that these two books are supposed to be purchased in pairs! Perhaps, the cover of the book can indicate something to show readers that there is a companion volume to the book.  Secondly, a preface or an introduction will be good for the prospective reader to get a map of where the author is going. In such an introduction, the author can also share with readers what the book is meant or not meant to achieve. Perhaps, share the philosophy behind the book clearly in the introduction. Thirdly, have a conclusion and a list of resources for the interested reader to look at.

As a preacher and pastor, I feel that these two books form an important resource for the sharing of the Word of God over the pulpit. Congratulations and thanks to Larry Moyer for sharing this wonderful resource and for serving the preaching community with books like these.

Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.


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