Have you ever wondered how to preach without notes? Then you should read the book Preaching By Ear that is written by authors Dave and Karen McClellan. This unique book on preaching involves the typical steps of building an outline, utilizing specific illustrations, and relying on one’s notes. But, unlike the typical preaching book, Preaching By Ear encourages a style that emphasizes the “speaking from the heart.” To establish this ideal the authors use historical, biblical, and practical examples.
Written notes for speaking is a recent invention within the history of Christianity and even the world. Citing historical figures such as Augustine, Quintilian, and others, the McClellans show various forms of public speaking and rhetoric principles. Like the biblical examples of Moses, Nehemiah, Jeremiah, Paul, and even Jesus, a pattern of oral tradition is established. Oral tradition was historically how stories were passed from one generation-to another through simple conversations. This is because there were not sufficient means to document events in written form until Edison was first able to quickly document things with the photograph in 1891. Couple this with the author’s statement that says: “In 90 percent of the history of God’s people, there were no personal Bibles feasibly owned by commoners” makes the case that written form for everyday use is a new idea. Therefore, people must have “spoken from the heart.” [Read more…]