I am the pastor of my local church responsible for weekly preaching and teaching. I am always working to grow and improve in preaching and have a lot of preaching books on my shelf; white westerners wrote most of them. That’s why I was very interested to read and review this book From and Before God by Sugel Michelen.
Sugel Michelen is well known in Latin America but I’ve never heard of him. Despite his foreign-ness to me, I found his book solid and refreshing. It is written in three parts, providing theology, doctrine, definitions and foundations for expositional preaching, and concluding with practical application. He provides a “practical lab” at the end of several chapters, focusing on developing a sermon from Exodus 17. Pastor Michelen writes with a variety of quotes and history and personal reflection, and although it feels as some of his style is wooden (I wonder if that’s a matter of translation), this did not detract from reading or understanding his content.
There is nothing new in his approach to preaching, nothing revolutionary. It is standard and standing the test of time. It recounts the steps of exegeting, praying, crafting and delivering solid sermons for a local church. This is an excellent book for a young preacher to have the basics. It could be used to train up new men for the task of preaching. It is also a helpful review and encouragement for seasoned preachers. The core translates well across cultures and languages: preach as though you are from and before God. What a great privilege and responsibility!
This book was provided to me at no cost for the purpose of review. I was not required to write a positive review.