From and Before God by Sugel Michelen–Book Review

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book — after all, why does a layperson need to read a book that is subtitled  “Practical Introduction to Expository Preaching.”  Well, there are a couple of reasons.  The author, Sugel Michelen says,

”  I hope this guide may be useful for Sunday school teachers, small-group leaders, or anyone who has the responsibility of teaching the Scriptures in any context.”

I will never write a sermon, but I do teach, lead and sometimes write talks on Biblical topics.  I indeed found this book helpful in explaining how to research and present material.

In addition, From and Before God will give readers an appreciation for the hard work a pastor puts in to prepare and deliver a sermon.  For example, did you know that:

“It has been estimated that a preacher uses as much physical energy in half an hour of preaching as someone doing eight hours of manual labor.”?

When a pastor enters the pulpit he knows (or should) that he is preaching “from and before God.”  It’s a daunting responsibility.  Michelen makes the point that preaching is proclaiming God’s Word, not a man’s opinions.  Part of the work is to teach members of the congregation how to properly study and interpret the Bible.  The only one in the audience who must be pleased by this work is God Himself.

Finally, this book will help readers understand and be able to identify good preaching.  This could prove to be crucial information for anyone involved in a call committee.

The author explains the theology reasons for preaching;  he then defines the nature, form and content of an expository sermon and why he considers it the best method of preaching.  Finally he guides the reader step-by-step through the preparation of a sermon, along with the finished product.  He also discusses delivering the sermon.

The book is peppered with interesting quotes by other teachers, preachers and theologians, and there is a lengthy list of further reading at the back.

VERDICT:  Five stars.  I strongly recommend it!

For another book about preaching, go to this post:

Letters to My Students Vol. 1: On Preaching by Jason K. Allen–Book Review

If you would like to purchase the book follow this link:


The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review – Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR Part 255