Jul 19, 2013
A Review of Saving Eutychus
Gary Millar and Phil Campbell, Saving Eutychus: How to Preach God’s Word and Keep People Awake (Kingsford: Matthias Media, 2013).
Saving Eutychus is a book that preachers might be tempted to hide in a plain brown wrapper. No one wants to admit that they might actually need this book. It is a book written for other preachers.
That being said, Saving Eutychus is probably a book that most preachers should at least consider reading. I appreciated three things about the book. First, I appreciated the authors’ personal humility about their own preaching and yet the pastoral commitment to the craft of preaching. So their advice about preaching comes across as less talking about you and more about talking with you. Second, the book is easy to read. Millar and Campbell tend to model in their writing what they encourage about preaching (see especially the chapter called “Deadly, dull and boring”). Third, the authors’ emphasis on, and advice concerning, critique were particularly helpful.
There are a few mild criticisms that I would offer. I wish that the authors would have discussed what they mean by “application” and if or how they would distinguish application from principle (see pp. 69-75). I remain unconvinced that sermons should be 23-25 minutes long (pp. 50-51). This seems to be too short. Finally, both of the sermonic examples at the end of the book came from narratives in Acts. This is okay, but it might have been more helpful to use one example from Acts and the other example from the Old Testament and preferably something other than narrative. The reader could then see how the authors’ methodology works with another kind of text.
The free review copy utilized for this unbiased review was provided by Cross Focused Reviews.