Illustrations capture our attention and further our understanding in a way that no other sermonic tool can. This former pastor and current seminary president demonstrates why illustrations should be used in biblical preaching and then goes on to share how to find and integrate them effectively. Throughout his work Bryan Chapell makes it clear that illustrations are integral to effective preaching, not because they entertain, but because they expand and deepen the applications the mind and heart can make.
If the apostle Paul had not punctuated his words with images of the armor of God or the racecourse, would we so easily remember his instruction? The march on Washington might have become nothing more than a ragged hike across a majestic mall if Martin Luther King, Jr. had not led us through a “dream” and onto a “mountaintop.”
Such is the power of illustrations.
They contain a hidden dynamic of living that captures our attention and furthers our understanding in a way that no other sermonic tool can match. Can they be overused and their purpose abused? Yes—and by many they are. But to eliminate them completely would be unwise, maintains Bryan Chapell.
Instead, he responds to those concerns by reviewing the theory behind illustrations, sharing why they’re important, and demonstrating how you can use them effectively in your biblical preaching. This book clearly affirms that illustrations are integral to powerful preaching—not because they entertain but because they expand and deepen applications in the lives of your listeners. They infuse your words with life without compromising the message, making the truth of the Word ring clearly in people’s hearts long after your sermon is done.
“the primary purpose of illustration is not merely to clarify but to motivate.” (Page 40)
“Illustrations are therefore doors that preachers open to allow listeners to experience a concept; and by experiencing it, to understand it, interact with it, and act upon it.” (Page 39)
“In fact, congregations seem to think illustrations are often the most memorable, informative, and moving portions of many sermons.” (source)
“whereas in an illustration the preacher invites the listener into the experience” (Page 21)
“Life-situation preaching ‘strives to reach into the core of distress in personal, modern living and apply the healing of the gospel.” (Page 29)
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