Most helpful critical review
17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
a mixed bag at best...
on March 18, 2010
I had a preaching professor in seminary who said if you get one good illustration out of an illustration book, you got your money's worth. Okay, so I got my money's worth out of this book, but not much more. It suffers from several problems. Let's review them.
Many of the illustrations are directly from Tony's life, and as such are pretty soggy and not really transferable. How many congregations want to hear a pastor repeatedly say, "A funny thing happened to Tony Evans awhile back..."
For instance, he tells a story about going to Tennessee for a speaking engagement. The flight was delayed, and when he landed, he had an hour drive ahead of him to get to his destination. He was worried the entire time about being late. The man who picked him up at the airport repeatedly told him not to worry, as the audience would wait. Sure enough, when he got to the engagement, late, no one had left, and the entire audience burst into applause. So-so story, and since it didn't happen to us, how do we drive it home? It just sort of lays there. And it has too many brothers on these pages.
Concerning the non-personal illustrations, many are available elsewhere. Worst of all, sometimes Evans says things that I just find offensive. On two separate occasions, he says that God is looking for "groupies." I understand his point: God wants people who worship him with the same fervor they do their favorite entertainer. Still, the language is just tasteless. The word has too much negative baggage. Groupies are usually mindless sycophants.
The positive side of this book is that it might give pastors an idea of how to look for illustrations in their own lives. I have often found that the personal illustrations I come up with are just as good as ones I find in books. So, all in all, this volume is worth a glance, if you can get it cheap. Don't expect too much, and you won't be disappointed. Oh, by the way, the numbers in the index refer to the numbers of the illustrations, not the page number. The illustrations have tiny superscript numberings at the end of each. Just thought you should know.