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From the Editor:

A Day at New Orleans
Baptist Seminary



Preacher’s Bookshelf


And Finally…


Conviction is that wonderful quality in ourselves which we call stubbornness in others.

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    Vol. 6, No. 38 October 31, 2007    

Michael Duduit

I’m in the midst of conference season – this week in Tampa and New Orleans, next week in Quincy (IL) and Columbus – so this week’s Preaching Now will be an abbreviated mini-edition. But it’s hard to go a whole week without saying hello to your friends!

Yesterday I spent the day on the campus of New Orleans Baptist Seminary, leading a one-day preaching conference and speaking in chapel. It is hard to imagine the devastation that Hurricane Katrina (and subsequent flooding) caused in the city – I had the opportunity to pass through some neighborhoods where the evidence of destruction is still plain to see.

Yet the seminary has made a remarkable come-back, through sacrificial efforts of faculty and staff and the commitment of students who stayed at their work, even during a year of Katrina-imposed exile when the seminary’s operations moved to Atlanta and many classes took place online. Now things are moving forward on a beautifully-restored campus, and the future promises great things for the seminary.

It’s a good reminder of what God can do in our lives and our churches. Even when tragedy strikes, He can still use us to accomplish His purpose. He truly gives us a hope and a future.


Michael Duduit, Editor


Josh McDowell explains that, “An executive recruiter, a ‘head-hunter’ who goes out and hires corporation executives for other firms, once told me, ‘When I get an executive that I’m trying to hire for someone else, I like to disarm him. I offer him a drink, take my coat off, then my vest, undo my tie, throw up my feet and talk about baseball, football, family, whatever, until he’s all relaxed. Then, when I think I’ve got him relaxed, I lean over, look him square in the eye and say, “What’s your purpose in life?” It’s amazing how top executives fall apart at that question.

“Well, I was interviewing this fellow the other day, had him all disarmed, with my feet up on his desk, talking about football. Then I leaned up and said, ‘What’s your purpose in life, Bob?’ And he said, without blinking an eye, ‘To go to heaven and take as many people with me as I can.’ For the first time in my career I was speechless.” 


There are only three more chances to attend a Preaching magazine one-day conference in 2007! Enjoy our brand new seminar, “Growing a Biblical Sermon.” The last three conferences will be held in:

Quincy, IL (Nov 6)
Columbus, Ohio (Nov 8)
Oakland, CA (Dec 10)

Each conference features Dr. Michael Duduit, editor of Preaching magazine, plus a guest speaker. Cost is $95 for the first participant from a church, and $50 for each additional person; the cost includes lunch and a notebook packed with helpful resources. For more information or to register, visit


Jake was dying, and his wife, Becky, was maintaining a candlelight vigil by his side. She held his fragile hand, tears running down her face. Her praying roused him from his slumber. He looked up and his pale lips began to move slightly.

“My darling Becky,” he whispered.

“Hush, my love,” she said. “Rest. Shhh, don’t talk.”

He was insistent. “Becky,” he said in his tired voice. “I….I have something I must confess to you.”

“There’s nothing to confess,” replied the weeping Becky. “Everything’s all right, go to sleep.”

“No, no. I must die in peace, Becky. I…I fooled around with your sister, your best friend, and her best friend!”

“I know…” Becky whispered softly, “That’s why I poisoned you.”

Every issue of Preaching contains insightful articles on preaching, plus great model sermons and practical resources. If you’re not a current subscriber to Preaching magazine, click here (or call, toll free, 1-800-527-5226) to go begin your subscription!

Also in the November-December issue of Preaching: Interviews with Eugene Peterson and Max Lucado, “Blue Man Preaching,” “Preaching the Psalms as Stories,” Part 3 of Michael Quicke’s series on “Preaching and Trinitarian Worship” and much more.
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In his new book Recovering Jesus (Brazos Press), Thomas R. Yoder Neufeld offers a helpful and readable introduction to the life of Jesus. He deals with the New Testament accounts and confronts more recent arguments about the historical Jesus. It is a useful guide to who Jesus was and why He matters.


The concept of “covenant” is an important theme in scripture and in much theological writing. In Sealed With An Oath (IVP), Paul R. Williamson offers helpful insights into key biblical texts on this subject. It’s not light reading but it is worthwhile for those serious about biblical theology.


If there’s one thing preachers should recognize, it is that words matter. In The Power of Your Words (Regal), pastor Robert Morris talks about the physical, emotional and spiritual force inherent in the words we speak. He talks about how to use words positively and how to deal with the damage done by destructive words. There are lots of preaching ideas in this slim volume.

(Click on the title to learn more or order from


1. When the Deacons talk about improving the church’s spiritual life, they are never talking about their own.

2. In a committee meeting, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.

3. There will always be empty soft drink cans rolling on the floorboard of your car when your head deacon/elder asks for a ride home from church.

4. You can go anywhere you want if you look serious and carry a clipboard, a camera, or a Bible.

5. Everything can be filed under “miscellaneous.”

6. Never delay the ending of a meeting or the beginning of a fellowship activity involving food.

7. Any church employee can do any amount of work provided it isn’t the work he/she has been assigned to do.

8. Any great Sermon that contains no errors will develop errors when transmitted to your printer.

9. After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before.

10. When you don’t know what to do, walk fast and look worried.

11. Following the rules will not get the job done.

12. Getting the job done is no excuse for not following the rules.

13. A Youth Pastor with a clean desk has way too much free time.

14. The last person that quit or was fired will be blamed for everything that goes wrong for at least a year.

(From Sermon Fodder Christian Humor.  To subscribe go to drop an email note to

Like some other European nations, Germany requires its citizens to pay an annual television license fee. But in an interesting twist, the government agency responsible for collecting the fees had to apologize for sending an angry letter demanding payment from an eighth-century saint.

“This was quite embarrassing,” said Eckhard Ohliger, an official at the GEZ fee collection headquarters, which collects 6.5 billion euros ($6.8 billion) per year from viewers. “But unfortunately mistakes happen.” The story was reported by Reuters.

Father Karl Terhorst said the agency had sent letters demanding payment of the monthly 16.15 euro fee to a woman named “Frau Walburga St.” at the address of the Roman Catholic Church in Ramsdorf, 80 miles east of Cologne.

“At first I just ignored the letters,” Terhorst said. “But after the last letter demanding payment threatened the saint with ‘legal action’ and a 1,000-euro fine, I figured it was time to write back.”

Terhorst informed the GEZ that St. Walburga, born in 710 in England, was an abbess and missionary who played an important role in St. Boniface’s organization of the Frankish church. She headed a monastery, and was later made a saint in 880.

Yet another lesson to ponder: saints probably don’t tend to watch that much television anyway.

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