Volume 32 - Issue 3


by Ron Boyd-MacMillian

It is Boyd-MacMillian’s conviction that it is a sin to ‘bore for Jesus’, and he sets out to help preachers avoid that sin. The book is in the form of 31 letters about preaching and is a lively, engaging read. In the book Boyd-MacMillian examines problems in preaching today, looks at elements of great preaching, the history of different forms of preaching and the preacher’s life.

As an occasional preacher I found the book to be very stimulating, certainly very engaging and full of useful tips. It is not a systematic theology of preaching or word ministry and never pretends to be, so if you want that, then look elsewhere. It is a book that provokes thought. Boyd-MacMillian’s background as someone who has travelled widely, including preaching amongst persecuted churches, means that his advice about preaching has a wider cultural perspective and that I found refreshing.

Particularly helpful is his emphasis on the grandeur of God and his Word, reminding us that it is not about making God relevant, but rather ‘re-orientating all of life around God’. He says:

Don’t worry about being relevant. Catch them up in how much God loves them, cares for them, frets over them, works for them, stretches out a life of joy beyond the grave for them, pours grace upon grace into every nook and cranny of this bizarre adventure we call living, and you have made God relevant to everything. How can he not be, if you paint him in his true dimensions?

Mark Arnold