This volume represents a powerful tool because it offers a new (actually old) model of preaching. For centuries preaching has been shaped from a literary standpoint (i.e., reading, writing, outlining, and displaying sermons). But a pre-modern method of oral preparation and delivery largely has been forgotten. Preaching by Ear hearkens back to an earlier era when sermons were rooted inside the preacher and moved out in a natural and powerful way.
If we preach sermons for listening congregations, why prepare them for readers? But since the printing press sermons have moved from memorable oral patterns to the forgettable patterns of the written word.
Preaching by Earinvites pastors to prepare messages for auditoriums—the communication environment of people in church—and to engage listeners through premeditated (not pre-scripted) preaching. This volume revitalizes content-rich, Scriptural preaching by pastors for listeners like us through the principles of oral thought.
—Calvin Troup, Associate Professor; Director, Rhetoric Ph.D. Program, Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies, Duquesne University
Sermons are delivered orally, so why should they be conceived and gestated in literacy? Using Augustine, Plato, Aristotle, and especially Quintilian, Preaching by Ear explores the art and science of orality. Homiletics owes much to classical rhetoric, and McClellan continues to show us why. He challenges us to live lives of curiosity and worship, study and pray ourselves deep into the text, ‘map’ (not outline) the sermon, practice aloud, and then step out in faith without the safety net (or is it a straightjacket?) of written notes. Written by a pastor and scholar, Preaching by Ear will inform and challenge you.
—Jeffrey D. Arthurs, Professor of Preaching and Communication; Chair, Division of Practical Theology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
This book comes like a tall glass of cold water on a hot day. For too long, we have been writing sermons, as if people were going to read them instead of listen to them. Dave McClellan believes that if our sermons are going to be heard, we need to speak them into being. He is right. This is an engaging book, entirely relevant to our present moment. I can't wait to hear the preaching that results.
—Kenton C. Anderson, President of Northwest Baptist Seminary; Professor of Homiletics at ACTS Seminaries of Trinity Western University
Dave McClellan is senior pastor of The Chapel at Tinkers Creek in Streetsboro, Ohio, and an adjunct professor at Indiana Wesleyan University, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and John Carroll University. He received a Bachelor of Science in Communication from Grace College and a Master of Divinity from Denver Seminary before completing a Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Communication from Duquesne University.