After I do an interview with a preacher for Preaching magazine, we send the digital file to a person to transcribe it for print. Last week, as I was editing an interview for the next issue, I saw that the speaker had made reference to the Book of Acts, but the transcriptionist had typed “book of Ax.”

As I look back, I think I’ve heard quite a few sermons from the Book of Ax—sermons that were designed to bang the listeners over their heads, using the Bible as a bludgeon instead of a balm. Certainly there is a need for frankness in expressing the reality and destructive power of sin.

However, sermons from the Book of Ax rarely make the same impact as sermons from the book of grace. The sermons that have influenced my life most significantly are ones that vividly displayed the glory and grace of a God who so loved the world that He made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.

In a culture where there is an abundance of anger and hostility, I’m thankful for the truth found in the Book of Acts—that God has created a people who are privileged to share His grace with a lost world. Now that’s good news!

Michael Duduit
Follow on Twitter @MichaelDuduit

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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