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Saving Eutychus de Gary Millar
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Saving Eutychus (edició 2013)

de Gary Millar (Autor), Phil Campbell (Autor)

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324461,092 (4)No n'hi ha cap
Membre:jdeluca2
Títol:Saving Eutychus
Autors:Gary Millar (Autor)
Altres autors:Phil Campbell (Autor)
Informació:Matthias Media (2013), 176 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca, Office Library
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Saving Eutychus de Gary Millar (Co-author)

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It sounds like it is a joke but it is not. Gary Millar (Irishman) and Phil Campbell (Aussie) have teamed up to write a book that helps preachers preach God’s word and keep people awake. Both men teach at Queensland Theological College in Brisbane. Their book, Saving Eutychus, draws its title from the Eutychus who fell asleep while the apostle Paul preached in Acts 20 (making him the patron saint of all who doze through church). Unfortunately for Eutychus, when he fell asleep he also fell three stories to his death. Paul raised him back to life and kept preaching. However in an age with less powerful preachers, we need to learn how to preach in a way that keeps people awake and engaged.

While the Biblical allusion to Eutychus is humorous, Millar and Campbell offer some seriously helpful advice. While many books focus on ‘preaching technique’ when trying to help preachers craft an interest presentation, Millar and Campbell are also interested in the gospel content of sermons. It isn’t enough to entertain, they want preachers to preach in such a way that listeners have a change of heart.

The two authors embody this dual emphasis of this text. Millar’s chapters generally focus on the theological content of the sermon, Campbell’s chapters generally offer practical advice for crafting interesting sermons and having a winsome delivery; however both authors see the value of preaching content and craft and they reinforce and reiterate what the other says. Millar talks about the power of prayer in preaching (chapter 1), preaching that aims at heart change (chapter 2), how to preach the gospel in difficult passages by setting them in the context of a Biblical theology (chapter 5), and the importance of listening to peer critiques of your sermons (chapter 7). Campbell exhorts preachers to be clearer and simpler in their presentation (chapter 3), to craft their sermons around the ‘big idea’ in the passage (chapter 4), and to vary their pitch, pace and volume in presentation (chapter 6). In chapter eight, Campbell shares a sample sermon (which Millar critiques in an appendix and offers a sermon of his own).

I am an occasional preacher, but I resonate with these author’s expository style. What I liked about this book is that Millar and Campbell begin with an emphasis on the importance of prayer for the preaching moment (both the prayers from preachers and from congregants). Their focus on the gospel and the gospel content of preaching guards against preachers being too caviler when they climb into the pulpit. After reflecting on various mistakes preachers make (i.e. self-indulgence, not preaching the gospel, insensitivity, trying to be clever, etc.), Millar observes:

We need to remember that all these ‘mistakes’ are sin. There is a sad irony in the fact that many of us who are quick to say (and preach) with JC Ryle that the right “understanding of sin lies at the root of all saving Christianity”, are also very slow to acknowledge that our preaching ’gaffes’ are actually deeply sinful. To miss the point of a passage because we have decided what we want to say is more important than whatGod has to say is sinful. To abuse the privilage of preaching by talking about ourselves or by trying to make ourselves seem witty or ‘in’ or ‘hip’ is just plain sinful. (115-6)

The seriousness by which Millar and Campbell view the preaching task keeps a book designed ‘to help keep people awake’ from devolving into mere technique. Certainly they have some great advice on proper communication, but this is secondary importance to the gospel of Grace.

For a short preaching book, this is rather good. There is little ‘new material’ here but I like what Millar and Campbell have culled together. I give this book four-and-a-half stars.

Thank you to matthias media and Cross-Focused Reviews for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
Good books on preaching almost always say essentially the same things:

- Discover the Big Idea of the passage.
- Pay careful attention to context.
- Preach in passionate, engaging ways.
- Make a bee-line to the Cross.

Almost every good preaching book says these things. Few of them say it as well as Saving Eutychus. Gary Millar and Phil Campbell marry a light touch and clever humor as they present solid advice to preachers. Someone looking for a new methodology or a transformational new way to deliver sermons will find the book wanting. Millar and Campbell don't plow new ground; that's not their aim. Personally, I think that is the genius of Saving Eutychus. Millar and Campbell say the same things other great pulpiteers say, only they say it in an extremely digestible way.

I picked up this book in preparation for a teaching seminar I'm leading in the Philippines next November. Reading this book has presented me with a dilemma. How am I going to find room in my luggage to get 12 of these books to my students? It's that good!

My only critique (and it is a minor issue) is the short discussion of biblical theology in chapter 5. The chapter is addressing the problem of preaching the gospel from the Old Testament. The authors correctly note, "The idea that we need to read every part of the Bible in the light of the whole in order to understand its breadth and depth is so simple and yet absolutely fundamental" (86). From there, they reference Don Carson's 20 legitimate biblical-theological routes travelled by the apostles. I wish the whole biblical theology argumentation had been avoided. Scholarship is still debating how to even define biblical theology. The end result of including this discussion is that an extremely clear book on preaching is slightly muddied. But, again - this is a minor issue!

I can't recommend Saving Eutychus highly enough. It is a must read for seasoned preachers (great refresher) as well as young pastors (wish I had been given this 20 years ago)! The authors exhibit a humility and self-deprecating humor that is disarming and charming. Millar and Campbell are to be thanked for this wonderful contribution to the modern church.

Great Quotes
"The aim of this book is to help us all to preach in a way that is faithful to Scripture without being dull" (26).

"When you listen to someone explain the Bible, what do you want to get out of it? I want to know that God has addressed me through his word. I want to be challenged, humbled, corrected, excited, moved, strengthened, overawed, corrected, shaped, stretched and propelled out into the world as a different person. I want to be changed!" (27)

"I am utterly convinced that the kind of preaching that changes people's lives, that changes people's hearts, is preaching that allows the text to speak" (30).

"Biscuits and sermons are improved by shortening" (50).

"Before you do anything else, you need to uncover the elusive big unifying idea of the passage you're unpacking" (65).

"It's important to say what you mean, without being mean in what you say" (73).

"I call it a 'zing thing'. . . . It's zest and freshness and energy. you know it when you meet it. The communication zing I'm talking about comes from deep reserves of intelligence and graciousness and humor and wisdom. This zing doesn't just shape the words; it also shapes the way the words are spoken. The act of delivery. The pitch, the pace, the punch... the perfectly placed pauses. That's a lot of 'p' words" (102). ( )
  RobSumrall | May 14, 2016 |
William: "A must read for anyone preparing sermons and bible studies on how to preach the whole word of God, without being dull. Honest, practical, and encourages you to get out there and do it. And a great title!" ( )
  howickbaptist | Sep 2, 2015 |
In Saving Eutychus, authors Gary Millar (Principal of Queensland Theological College) and Phil Campbell (Preaching Professor of Queensland Theological College) offer a brief, yet helpful work on preaching. Central to their book is the assertion that a preacher need not choose between biblical fidelity and preaching in an engaging manner. Rather, they believe there is a manner of preaching that is both faithful to the text of Scripture, and interesting enough to keep people awake long enough to hear it. They are not merely lecturers, but practitioners as well, who understand that, “our challenge is not just to avoid being deadly dull. Our challenge is to be faithful, accurate, and clear as we cut to the heart of the biblical text and apply what God is really saying in a way that cuts to the hearts of people who are really listening” (14).

Millar and Campbell are committed to expositional preaching, or at least their own version thereof. Millar writes, “the key to preaching… is to make the message of the text obvious” (29). Taking a cue from Haddon Robinson’s Biblical Preaching, their preaching centers on the identification and explanation on a single main idea communicated in the text. In order to discern this main idea, the authors emphasize the vast importance of avoiding the temptation to moralize the text and, “lose sight of the gospel of what Jesus has done and replace it with a whole lot of concrete and persuasive and guilt-inducing applications about what we need to do” (70). Crucial to this endeavor is a healthy understanding of the overarching biblical narrative and a robust biblical theology. Only by understanding the overall tapestry of Scripture, can preachers maintain the vital distinction between what is being required of us and what has been accomplished in Christ.

Both authors utilize a sermon script rather than detailed preaching outline, and suggest that this method provides the best means to communicate their message deliberately and with absolute clarity. This method prevents both the tendency of some who use no notes, or merely an outline, to wander aimlessly during the sermon, as well as the equally dangerous propensity to read a script woodenly. In fact, the authors recommend, what they call natural scripting, that is, “writing exactly the words you’d naturally speak, exactly the way you’d naturally say them” (45).
Critique

This little book has much to offer pastors who find themselves struggling to preach sermons that visibly affect their congregations. The importance of understanding the biblical narrative, and where each passage fits therein, is crucial to faithful exposit God’s Word. However, it is in their exposition that they fall short.

The authors recommend preaching a central idea derived from the preaching text. The danger of such preaching is that it diminishes the impact of the actual language and words breathed out by the Holy Spirit in the text of Scripture. This danger is evidenced in both of the authors’ sample sermons. Each sermon had one big idea, yet ignored the text itself in order to preach the “gist” of the text.

Such preaching is not unique to these authors, but rather is indicative of a generation of expository preaching that ultimately fails to deliver the text. This method is careful to emphasize the importance of each word used by the preacher to communicate his message to the congregation, yet fails to recognize the infinitely greater importance of the exact words used by the Holy Spirit to communicate to the readers of Holy Scripture. Such a failure is unacceptable for those entrusted to faithfully communicate God’s Word.

Saving Eutychus is a useful little book for preachers looking for something to assist them in faithfully communicating God’s Word in a manner that affects the hearts of their hearers. Though weak in terms of defining the preaching task, its strength lies in the method used by the authors to communicate the message. ( )
1 vota David_Norman | Jul 30, 2013 |
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