Preach Magazine Issue 1 - Creativity and innovation in preaching - Page 35

REVIEWS PREACHING THE HARD WORDS OF JESUS THE MINISTRY OF A MESSY HOUSE Steven D Mathewson, Hendrickson Press/ Alban Books (2013) 35 Amanda Robbie, IVP (2013) This is a book that challenges the prevailing culture’s value of perfectionism, external polish and materialism, and reminds us that what matters is grace. As someone whose kitchen compost bin is always overflowing, the contents of whose Tupperware cupboard falls on her head whenever she opens the door, whose ironing pile is a permanent feature of her bedroom floor, I found Amanda’s honesty, kindness and wisdom deeply comforting. There are many ‘hard’ sayings of Jesus. They may seem offensive, hard work or a million miles away from where we are today culturally – yet surely they still have something to say to us. This book takes up the challenge of preachers helping their listeners to understand the hard sayings of Jesus. Mathewson helpfully examines linguistic techniques such as hyperbole and exaggeration as part of Jesus’ tactics, as well as tracing Old Testament echoes and cultural insights. He is not afraid to say exactly how he thinks these hard passages should be preached – in a way that reflects his own Evangelical perspective. In this way it is rather narrow. Despite this book being about ‘hard sayings’, it is an easy read; very accessible and with lots of food for thought. It is interesting, well researched and an encouragement to explore those passages that we might be tempted to avoid. This is a useful book for any preacher. It would equally help anyone interested in Bible study. PAM WEBSTER LWPT8173 - Preach Magazine - Issue 1 v3.indd 35 Amanda looks at mess in the home, the family, the church and the wider community, opening the door wide on her own life as a vicar’s wife, mother and writer. She puts her finger on ѡ