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Preaching to a Post-Everything World: Crafting Biblical Sermons That Connect with Our Culture Paperback – April 1, 2008
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From the Back Cover
The sermon is dead. Long live the sermon.
Do you think a postmodern audience may render your preaching post-relevant? Think again. Zack Eswine takes you through the nuts and bolts--and the heart and soul--of engaging today's multicultural society with compelling messages from the pulpit. Such preaching, however, requires more than just contextualizing the message.
Using this comprehensive and practical guide will help you to preach God's truth without compromising doctrine or ignoring the faithful. Eswine shows how God's own interactions with humanity model relevant preaching and offers fresh, field-tested insights into the application of homiletics. Valuable appendixes detail steps to an effective sermon and provide questions for assessing cultural developments with spiritual discernment.
Whether a new or experienced speaker, in church leadership or in parachurch ministry, you can make an impact on the rising global village--starting now.
"Zack Eswine moves the Christ-centered preaching movement forward with this volume. He not only calls us to carefully contextualize our message to various cultures, sensibilities, and habits of heart, but he also gives us a host of practical tools, inventories, and guidelines for doing so. All the while he assumes and strengthens the foundational commitment to preaching Christ and his restoring grace from every text. A great contribution."--Tim Keller, senior pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York City
"As a pastor/homiletician, Zack Eswine stands between the two worlds of the academy and the church, inviting biblical preachers to journey to the missional intersection where priest, prophet, and sage converge and converse. Navigating them through the turbulent waters of a post-everything culture, they arrive at the shore of homiletical hybridity: the terra firma of biblical revelation and contemporary relevance. Get on board!"--Robert Smith Jr., associate professor of divinity, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University
About the Author
Zack Eswine (PhD, Regent University) is assistant professor of homiletics and associate dean of ministry formation at Covenant Theological Seminary. He is the author of Kindled Fire: How the Methods of C. H. Spurgeon Can Help Your Preaching.
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Eswine also talks about helping the congregation feel what Peter may have been feeling as he walked away from the empty tomb, marveling at what had happened.
The second part of the book discusses the exploration of biblical models. He says that preaching like a prophet doesn't always mean making people feel bad for 30 minutes and showing them God's grace for the last 2 minutes. It means being passionate and concerned and even challenging, but not necessarily red faced with anger.
Eswine also talks about preaching like a priest. In the OT priests taught the history and biography of the people, they taught doctine (Deuteronomy 4:15-24), they taught ethics (Leviticus 19:10, 13), and they taught liturgy. We need to do the same.
The third section of the book talks about presenting God's message to the cultures of the world. This means not being afraid to deal with the tough passages of scripture and not allegorizing them (like the student preacher who uses the left handed Ehud in Judges 3 as an example of how God uses weak people). Rather, pasages like the story of Ehud assassinating King Eglon are in Scripture to remind us of how far we have gotten from Eden, how far we have gotten from God.
Eswine also stresses that we discuss hell with compassion, and handle the war passages of scripture with care.
I know I only hit highlights, but I trust that there is enough here to convince you that this book was a worthwhile read for me as 2009 draws to a close. What impressed me the most about this book was Eswine's compassionate writing, and his understanding and care for human beings. That more than anything else encourages and challenges me as a preacher to remember that preaching is not just an art. It's a conversation with people I care about.