Just Say The Word / Edition 1

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Drawing on nearly thirty years of experience in critiquing sermon delivery, Jacks here offers a practical, hands-on approach to writing sermons that consider listeners first. Jacks gives samples and examples of writing that effectively captures and holds an audience's attention, and he offers practical tips and suggestions intended to help each of us find a preaching style and voice of our own. He also shows how to translate the jargon of theological textbooks into everyday language, suggests methods for rewriting sermons to avoid some of the pomposity of sermonic proclamation, and demonstrates ways to retell biblical narratives in fresh and imaginative ways. Just Say the Word! Writing for the Ear is a valuable resource that will help pastors and lay leaders communicate as effectively as possible the faith that is ours to share.
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Editorial Reviews

Modern Liturgy
"Jacks, throughout his book, is profoundly reverent and playfully irreverent. Homily professors and all who have to "say the Word" will profit from this book."
Sharing the Practice
"Here is a book suited for both the new and seasoned preacher.... Jacks' experience as a preacher, dramatist, and long time teacher of preaching lends credibility to this book.... To sharpen up your preaching, stimulate your proclamation, and get the juices of your imagination flowing, this book will serve you well and will give you a rich return on your investment!"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802842626
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 8/16/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,362,936
  • Product dimensions: 0.44 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 9.25 (d)

Table of Contents


  1. Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin
  2. "Talk to Me, Brother…Talk to Me about Jesus"
  3. Having Second Thoughts
  4. The Sound of Written Rhetoric
  5. Written Rhetoric Redux
  6. Take Out the Trash
  7. What Is This Thing Called "Style"?
  8. Words About Words About Words About Words…
  9. Tell Me a Story
  10. "I Love to Retell the Story"
  11. An Omnium-Gatherum

Samples and Examples

Mike's Sermon

Parables from Life:

"Climbing the Family Tree"
"In God We Trust"
"He Knew…He Understood"

From Conversation to Sermon:

"A Promise…A Mystery!"
"Erasing the Mistakes"
"The Last Word—The Last Laugh!"
"Wise as Serpents, Innocent as Doves"

From Letter to Homily:

"Our Standing Before God"
"What Are You Doing Here?"
"When God Cries With Us"


"Not As They Had Planned"
"Just Do It"

Appendix: "Another Dark and Stormy Night"

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