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Spirit, Word, and Story
Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1996
(Out Of Print - $10, Amazon.Com)
Miller’s book is an excellent work, which is par for the course in that all of his books seem to be poetically written in a style that refreshes the mind and the soul. The book is broken up in three main sections consistent with the title ... Spirit, Word, and Story. He finishes up with a fourth section where he touches on Preparation and Delivery.
In his section on the Spirit, Miller focuses on the imperative of the need for the Spirit’s power in both the preaching moment, and in preparation. This was a good “fundamental” way to begin the book in that all too often preachers can craft their study and preaching from simple, human effort which can be void of the Spirit. He reminds us of the mystery of the Spirit and how that works in the hearts of the audience to drive home the Word and thus change lives in the process.
In the section on the Word, Miller takes up the cause of issues such as “wordsmithing," that is, being aware of the power of carefully crafted words that will produce maximum communicative effectiveness. However, he does remind us that good preaching need not be complex or cute, but simply thought out in order to be effective.
His section on story was engaging ... it will make any preacher want to be a better storyteller!!! One must remember, however, that Miller is a master storyteller himself, therefore even reading his discourse on how to tell stories becomes interesting in itself!! His emphasis on the issue of storying is very timely, especially in today’s culture. All people love the power and magnetism of stories ... because we can identify with them on our own journey of faith.
All in all, this book was a super read. I simply like Calvin Miller ... there is no other way to say it!! He’s an engaging writer, and in reading his works, you never find yourself bored.