Skip to main content

Book: Devote Yourself to the Public Reading of Scripture

Today’s Book is brought to you by Kregel Publishing’s Academic & Ministry Division. They sent me a coffee cup once, but I’m not drinking out of it while I do this review to make sure there is no bias in the process. As is frequent: free book in exchange for writing an unbiased review.

When I first start writing book reviews, I treated them like we were graded on the Customer Service Survey at Chick-fil-A: anything less than 5-stars was a failure. Since then, I have shifted my grading scale: 3-stars means the book accomplished what it set out to do, but was not spectacular, 4-stars stands out a little, and 5-stars is an outstanding work. 3-star meets the need, 4-star exceeds the need, and 5-star meets all relevant needs and most relevant wants.

So, now, a 5-star book coming across my desk is rare. It has to be a book that either greatly exceeds all other books I know on the matter or one that finally addresses a need. And it has to be a real need. Someday I will write my Theology of Robotics book, but I doubt that will meet any real need, except for some Data somewhere.

Devote Yourself/Public Reading/Scripture: The Transforming Power of the Well-Spoken WordToday, though, one is on my desk that addresses what I have felt as a need in many churches and Christian lives. That book is Devote Yourself to the Public Reading of Scripture by Jeffrey D. Arthurs. Dr. Arthurs is Professor of Preaching and Communication at Gordon-Conwell Seminary, where I would have gone to school if I could have stomached living in Massachusetts. (Well, if I could have afforded the medical insurance, actually.)

In Devote Yourself to the Public Reading of Scripture, Arthurs presents his case that the Bible needs to attain a more central role in our corporate gatherings as churches. By this, he does not mean we are neglecting Biblical Theology or even a commitment to know the Bible. His point is this: we do not spend enough of our effort in the simple practice of presenting the plain Word of God.

The typical Evangelical church service, which is his (and my) primary experience, devotes very little time to reading the Bible aloud. Arthurs presents that part of our problem is that when we do read the Word, we do not read it well. Devote Yourself first addresses the “why” question, and then delves into guidelines for “how” the Word can be read, and read well.

I like this book. Arthurs presents very basic oral interpretation guidelines on reading Scripture in public. Devote Yourself does not push the far envelope on being dramatic, though a few basic reader’s theatre type ideas are presented at the end. The overall thrust is this: learn to read aloud and learn to read aloud well.

The included DVD shows demonstration of technique and provides almost all one needs to have an oral interpretation class focused on Scripture. This moves the book from “I read it, and I think I get it,” to “Ah! I read it, I see it, and I can do it.”

In all, this is a practical little book that I hope finds its way into more hands. If we will begin to read Scripture well, then people will respond as I was told when I suggested we should start a sermon series by taking a Sunday and just reading through all of one short Biblical book: “That will be too boring.” Scripture should never be presented in a boring manner: either in explanation or in reading.

I highly recommend this one. It’s good for preachers. It would be great for middle/high school students who need to get started in Public Speaking practice. Get a copy.

Free book in exchange for the review. No, I don’t get a cut if you buy 1 for every pastor, homeschooler, and speaker you know. But you should do it anyway.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Book: By the Waters of Babylon

Worship. It is what the church does as we strive to honor God with our lips and our lives. And then, many churches argue about worship. I have about a half-dozen books on my shelf about worship, but adding Scott Aniol’s By the Waters of Babylon to the shelf has been excellent.

First of all, Aniol’s work is not based on solving a musical debate. While that branch of worship is often the most troublesome in the local church, By the Waters of Babylon takes a broader view. The starting point is the place of the church. That place is a parallel of Psalm 137, where the people of God, Israel, found themselves in a strange land. The people of God, again, find themselves in a strange land.
Second, in summary, the book works logically to the text of Scripture, primarily Psalm 137 but well-filled with other passages. Then it works outward from how the text addresses the problems submitted in the first chapter into how worship, specifically corporate worship, should look in the 21st century Weste…

Sermon Recap for October 14

Here is what you'll find: there is an audio player with the sermon audios built-in to it, just click to find the one you want. You'll also find the embedded Youtube videos of each sermon.If you'd like, you can subscribe to the audio feed here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/east-end-baptist-church/id387911457?mt=2 for iTunes users. Other audio feeds go here: http://eebcar.libsyn.com/rssThe video is linked on my personal Youtube Page here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBGluSoaJgYn6PbIklwKaw?view_as=publicSermons are stockpiled here: http://www.doughibbard.com/search/label/SermonsThanks!