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Monday, July 5, 2010

Moment of Truth - Book Review on Preaching

Wayne V. McDill is a professor of preaching at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He explains in his book The Moment of Truth:A Guide to Effective Sermon Delivery, that the true moment of truth is the preaching method in which God has ordained to use man as His agent of revelation to teach and renew His people through communicating the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ. Preachers only have “a moment” to teach the Word of God week in and week out, so that moment must be a moment where truth is verified and testified, “As the truth is in Jesus” (Eph. 4:21b).This thought helps understand the perspective of this book and the meaning behind biblical preaching from McDill. The preacher should be ready to teach people the truth of God in Scripture and renew their minds, hearts, and souls with the life-transforming gospel message of living hope and eternal life. The unequivocal objective for the preacher is to clearly state biblical truths in an appropriate way to the hearers so they can understand the simplicity of the message.

I know that God has a calling on my life to be a pastor down the road. Going through this book opened my eyes to something that I did not see in Robison’s Biblical Preaching. The most interesting thing that I found in McDill’s book was the chapter on “the Person and the Preacher." He touched on some key things that I have not thought about before. First McDill explains how the preacher needs to be like the greatest preacher of all time – Jesus. The person of Christ serves as a perfect model for all ministries, especially preaching because he portrayed the two elements of truth and personality. This reminded me of some studying that I did in Howard Hendrick’s work in The Christian Educator's Handbook on Teaching. However, McDill points out that God used His only Son as the exemplary model of preaching because Jesus was a human agent delivering the Word of God to others. This was the pattern for all the apostles who carried the message after him, and is still the model for pastors and teachers today. Therefore, it is my desire to mimic this model of Jesus more in my ministries.

The second thing that was of great insight in this chapter was to dig into to my family and church background. I was not raised in the church, but did have a Christian mother and grandparents who taught me biblical principles for life. My brother and I attended a Seventh Day Adventist private school in the elementary and junior high years. Then I went to public high school where I fell into sin, and was exposed to the world and its influences. However, during my senior year I gave my life to Christ. From that point on (eight years presently) I grew rapidly in the Lord and began a new journey with my Creator. McDill points out that all of these factors vividly shape the way a preacher is as a person, and the message he is communicating. Family, education, culture, and traditions are all influential characteristics that form the preacher as a person and also their philosophy of ministry. I could totally agree with this because I know great Christians who have radical testimonies and the way they were raised affects their outlook on ministry perspectives. McDill states, “Your preaching is dramatically affected by your views.” That statement is on the money! My lifestyle, convictions, and biblical worldview characterize the person I am as a preacher of God’s Word.

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