in this issue, Ron Allen writes about things laypeople wish they
could tell their pastor about preaching, based on a major research
project. Make The Word Come Alive
(Chalice Press), edited by Allen and Mary Allice Mulligan, is based
on that same research. In it, the observations of interviewees was
distilled into twelve characteristics that make sermons more meaningful
to them; each chapter shares comments on one of those dozen qualities
(such as “Help Us Figure Out What God Wants,” “Walk the Walk,”
“Show How the Gospel Helps Us,” “Make It Plain,” and, not
surprisingly, “Keep It Short.). Students of contemporary preaching will
benefit from reading the candid, often useful insights of those

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