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Spring 1993 · Vol. 22 No. 1 · pp. 94–95 

Book Review

Proclaim Salvation: Preaching the Church Year

David Ewert. Scottdale, PA: Herald, 1992. 160 pages.

Reviewed by Raymond O. Bystrom

Ewert, who has preached and taught God’s Word for over half a century and all over the world, serves up eleven sermons on the church year. He begins with sermons pertaining to the cycle of light (Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany) and moves to those on the cycle of life (Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost).

It is Ewert’s conviction that the Christian festivals afford the preacher and congregation the opportunity of exploring the unique events of the life of Christ. So he wants the intended readers (pastors and all God’s people) to seize the day. This encouragement to preach through the church year is most refreshing, especially for those in faith communities that still suffer from the “axing” of the church year by the Reformers. Ewert invites us to reinvent the church year and rediscover “the wells of salvation.”

Proclaim Salvation is similar to Good News for All Seasons (edited by Richard Allen Bodely) which contains 26 sermons by 22 preachers. However, Ewert’s book, a monograph, is more narrowly focused on the church year, while Bodey’s volume provides sermons for “ordinary time” {95} as well as “special time.” It is my conviction that Ewert’s book addresses the greater need in today’s church—the need to shape sermons around the saving events of the life of Christ rather than only around Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

Ewert’s homilies are models of expository preaching, in that the author is most concerned to communicate what the biblical text is saying to us today. As a biblical scholar (Ph.D in New Testament and author of ten other books), he is well equipped to mine the riches of God’s Word. But he also draws on a rich reservoir of life experiences and stories to shed light on the text’s meaning, our difficulties, and the major events of our Lord’s life.

Ewert’s sermons are an invitation to walk through the Christian year, to reflect on the great truths of the gospel, and then to “go and do likewise.”

Raymond O. Bystrom
Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministries
Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary

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