Author Interview with Jonathan Leeman on Reverberation

September 30, 2011 16 Comments
Today we’re excited to host Jonathan Leeman with us, author of Reverberation: How God’s Word Brings Light, Freedom, and Action to His People. We have 3 copies of Jonathan’s book to give away, read on to learn how to enter to win! 

1) There are plenty of books written about Scripture. What was your motivation behind writing Reverberation

What motivated me was an observation about my heart and the hearts of many Christians: we say we believe in the power of God’s Word, but when it comes to how we grow in the faith and build our churches, we put our confidence elsewhere.

You know how you wake in the morning, and need fresh reminders of the gospel, and fresh reminders of God’s goodness and power? In the same way, Christians and church leaders need continual reminders of the goodness and power of God’s Word. It’s a battle for faith. My hope is that this book will help grow believers in faith by offering a description of the power of God’s Word and demonstrating how God’s Word reverberates through the church, giving life to all its parts.

So it’s different from other books on Scripture in that (i) it’s tracing the process of how the Word creates the church and (ii) it’s fighting to help the reader grow in faith.

2) Preaching has long been the centerpiece of Sunday morning congregations. How important is preaching to a church? And what makes powerful preaching?

It’s most important and all important. Without preaching, there is no church. Christianity depends utterly on the word of the gospel. And biblical preaching–done rightly–is always an exposition of the gospel.

When people talk about “powerful” preaching, they usually have in mind some attribute of the preacher’s: he’s clever, or funny, or charismatic. But think for a moment: Human ideas and personalities do not give life to the dead. I don’t care how funny, or clever, or charismatic a preacher is, he is wholly incapable of saying anything that will give spiritual sight to the blind apart from God’s Word. What makes preaching supernaturally powerful is faithfully representing the biblical text. That’s it. D. A. Carson’s word for this is “re-revelation.” Preaching is supernaturally powerful only to the extent that a preacher re-reveals the God inspired-Bible.

If everything else in a church fails–even if the building collapses–but faithful preaching persists, that church can continue to grow and even to thrive.

3) It seems like these days people are more interested in watching something than in hearing something? We live in the age of the eye and not the age of the ear. Why focus, then, on the power of words?

Images are impactful. Hollywood gets that. Madison Avenue gets that. Even the Bible gets that. But ever since Adam and Eve were banished from God’s presence in the Garden, God has revealed Himself only through sound, not sight. Through speaking. Through words. Jesus is one exception to this, of course, but even here, notice that the Bible gives us no descriptions of what he looked like, other than that “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him” (Is. 53:2).

The constant temptation for religious people is to make images of God. Think of the second commandment. Besides, we don’t trust in the power of words. “Talk is cheap,” right? And “actions speak louder than words,” we say. Well, that may be true of human words. But God’s Word is uniquely powerful. And God means for us to live by faith in His Word until that glorious day when faith gives way to sight–when we shall see Him as he is (1 John 3:2).

4) What’s the idea or metaphor behind reverberation? 

I can probably best answer that question with an excerpt from the book:

“Picture it this way. The evangelist or the preacher opens his mouth and utters a word, God’s word. But the word doesn’t sound just once. It echoes or reverberates. It reverberates through the church’s music and prayers. It reverberates through the conversations between elders and members, members and guests, older Christians and younger ones. God’s words bounce around the life of the church, like the metal ball in a pinball machine.

But the reverberating words shouldn’t stop there. The church building doors should open and God’s words should echo out the doors, down the street, and into the members’ homes and workplaces. The reverberations of sound which began in the pulpit should eventually be bouncing off the walls in dining rooms, kitchens, and children’s bedrooms; off gymnasium walls, cubicle dividers, and the insides of city bus windows; through emails, text messages, and internet pages.The goal of this book is to follow this path.”

Enter to win a free copy of Reverberation! We have 3 giveaway copies and will be emailing and announcing the winners on Wed., October 5th. 

To enter to win:

1) Share this interview on a social engine, such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.

2) Leave your comment below!

How have you seen God’s Word act powerfully in your church, family, or personal life? Even in our age of ever-advancing technology, why do you think God’s Word remains as the powerful presence at work among us?

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16 Responses to Author Interview with Jonathan Leeman on Reverberation

  1. Stephanie S. Smith says:

    Thanks for stopping by on the blog, Brooke! I’m also thankful for pastors who carefully and faithfully handle the Word of God to His people!

  2. Brooke Stark says:

    I am thankful that our church stands on the Word of God and expository preaching is the norm. We are blessed to see that the Lord is transforming people through the faithful and consistent preaching/teaching of His Word occurring. Great message in this book. I enjoyed your responses. I pray that God will raise up more men to faithfully teach through the Scripture from the pulpit.

  3. I hear God’s words reverberate until I put them in writing in a poem, short story, or novel. They reverberate through the hills and plains, through the steel and concrete, through pain and joy.

  4. Pingback: representations of God | Images of God

  5. Nathan Pledger says:

    I have seen a great difference in the response of teens as I teach directly from the Word as opposed to some kind of video driven study. While the video driven studies can be full of Scripture and accurate; they pale in comparison to the impact of His word. His word is living and active!

  6. Mark McKeen says:

    I’ve seen the power of God through changed lives in Ecuador. My parents faithfully preach the Word of God and the Lord works through that to bring ‘many sons to glory’! Praise God! I look forward to reading this book!

  7. Stephanie S. Smith says:

    Very true, the Word has power in convicting and transforming God’s people.

  8. Stephanie S. Smith says:

    We’re excited to offer it! So glad you enjoyed the interview, powerful stuff in there!

  9. Stephanie S. Smith says:

    Love that…it reverberates because it is Life! True and beautiful.

  10. Linda says:

    I have been give a word of knowledge on different occasions as well as the gift of healing. His word reverberates because it is Life. It never returns void. It’s alive and active. Sounds like a great book!!!

  11. Craig Hurst says:

    I would love to give this to my pastor!

  12. BJ Simpson says:

    I really liked hearing the author speak about this subject and am intrigued to read more. “God’s Word is uniquely powerful,” indeed. Thank you for the opportunity to receive a free copy, Inside Pages and Moody Publishers. God bless.

  13. Michael Lee says:

    God’s word has been powerfully shaping the students at our church’s youth group, convicting them of sin and showing them the precious grace of the gospel. Scripture remains powerful precisely because it is God’s very revealed word to us – there is no authority above it.

  14. Corey says:

    I continually see God’s Word acting in our church by drawing people to Himself through the preaching of His word. I also see it in the conviction of sin. God’s Word remains powerful because it’s inspired by God. The authority behind the Word is what continually makes it relevant to those who hear it.

  15. I have seen God work out so many thing in my life and family. God has cancealed out accounts that I knew I owed. But God is awesome God full of grace and mercy toward me and my family. This book would be a great investment for everyone. I would love the book.

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