500 ILLUSTRATIONS by G. Curtis Jones ($25)*


They are the lifeblood of preaching, the sparks that allow the sermon to catch fire in the imaginations of the congregation. Without them the best exegesis of the text, the most well-reasoned argument, the most polished delivery fall flat. They are illustrations, and they are an indispensable part of the preacher's craft. Consistently they appear at the top of the list when pastors identify the areas in which they need more and better resources for preaching.

Only those who preach and teach week after week know how difficult it is to find illustrations that are moving, appropriate, and timely. Preachers could spend every minute of sermon preparation time they have, and then some, simply looking for the right anecdotes or narratives with which to illumine their message. It seems that as soon as they've found a good one, they've used it, and it's back to the search.

Books of illustrations have been around for a long time to help address this problem, but too often the illustrations they contain have been circulating for fifty years or more, and therefore sound out-of-date or simply not in tune with the lives of today's congregations. 500 Illustrations: Stories from Life for Preaching and Teaching meets the need for contemporary, engaging stories and quotations with which to illustrate the sermon.

Each of the illustrations has been taken from recent newspapers, magazines, television programs, and the like. They are truly what the book's title suggests: stories drawn from the lives of real people, presented as brief anecdotes to be used to deepen the preaching and teaching of the gospel.

Helpfully arranged by topic and subject, 500 Illustrations: Stories from Life for Preaching and Teaching will be an indispensable part of the preacher's library. Chapter titles include: Christmas, church, community, courage, death and grief, discipleship, Easter, evil, faith and doubt, God, grace, guilt and forgiveness, heaven and hell, humor, Jesus Christ, Love, money, peace, prayer, race relations, stewardship and sin.

G. Curtis Jones is a retired pastor, a respected preacher, and the author of previous books of sermon illustrations. He currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida. Paul H. Jones is Dean of the Chapel, Transylvania University, Lexington, Kentucky. They are a father and son team with many years of ministry experience between them.

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