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Messengers of God

Editor's note: Calvin Miller reviewed Eugene Peterson's new book, The Unnecessary Pastor, in the Summer 2001 Leadership. Now Peterson turns the tables.

Did you know that an angel has recently been sighted who has the specialized assignment of helping preachers get their preaching back? His name is Sermoniel, the Angel of Homiletics.

He is especially astute in detecting homileticus horribilis, a virus that infects an alarming number of pulpits. The men and women who occupy these pulpits are especially at risk, often developing sermonic sclerosis, the leading cause of death among preachers today.

And did you know that the fat cows of Bashan, so dear to the heart of the prophet Amos, have begun appearing in congregations across the country? They compose an informal order of lay critics devoted to the improvement of sermons. They are a tactless bunch, and pastors take no pleasure in having them around. But they have enormous value—they know how to get a preacher's attention.

Sometimes they say ...

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