A Commentary To Help You Craft Better Sermons
If you're a preacher or teacher, your work is only half done when you've finished exegeting a passage. Next you face the daunting task of organizing what you've discovered into a meaningful sermon or lesson. Unfortunately, most commentaries focus on helping with the task of exegesis, but do little to help with the challenge of communication. The Exploring Commentary Series by John Phillips is different: it focuses on presenting the books it covers in a way that can be easily communicated with others.
First, Phillips organizes his commentaries around extensive alliterative outlines of each book. If your congregation expects you to alliterate every point and subpoint of your sermon, Phillips' outlines alone will be an enormous help. Here's an example of how Phillips outlines the book of Mark:
Even if you're not a big fan of such extensive use of alliteration, you'll likely find that Phillips' outlines help you divide a passage up into individual sermons or lessons, present the passage in a way your listeners can understand, and avoid getting side-tracked by minor points and rabbit trails.
In addition to his gift for outlining the books he covers, Phillips also has an engaging narrative style. He weaves helpful background information together with interesting stories and illustrations in a way that draws the reader into the text rather than taking the reader's focus off of the text.
For example, when commenting on Romans 1:20, Phillips quotes Longfellow to illustrate the power of nature to reveal God. He then follows it up with a quote by F. W. Boreham discussing the self-deception of the man who claims that "he does not need a church in order to worship. He finds God in nature." Boreham's point is that such a man finds God only in nature's beauty and must conveniently ignore its cruelty—a point which Phillips then goes on to illustrate with a poem by Robert Louis Stephenson. Phillips finally draws this discussion to a close in a way that clearly reinforces the message of Romans 1:20.
Phillips' commentaries read like the kinds of sermons and Bible lessons we would all like to hear. Preachers and teachers would do well to soak in the richness of Phillips' narrative style.
Phillips' Commentary consists of twenty-seven volumes covering Genesis, Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon, Daniel, the Minor Prophets, and every book of the New Testament except Jude. It lists for $650.00, but you can pick it up for just $169.99 from now through April 3.
If you're looking for a commentary that can help you organize your material, craft better sermons and lessons, and illustrate them with engaging stories, you'll find Phillips Commentary to be an indispensable resource.