Book Review

March 21, 2007

The first review of my book (For God's Sake, Shut Up!: Lessons for Christians on How to Speak Effectively and When to Remain Silent) is out in this week's issue of the Word & Way, which is the newspaper for Missouri Baptists. The piece is not online, so you will have to get the newspaper to read the whole thing (and if you are a Missouri Baptist and not getting the Word & Way, then you need to fix that problem). The piece is by Ken Satterfield and is entitled "A time to speak up, a time to shut up." Ken does a great job of highlighting the key points of the book and explaining why Christians should be concerned about learning to communicate more effectively.

Ken starts out by telling about a recent encounter he had with a street preacher. He writes that it was not an effective way to reach people with the message and then mentions that a similar encounter is what inspired me to write the book. Click here to read the introduction of the book where I tell the story about the street preacher that made me first think about telling someone, "For God's Sake, Shut Up!" I have found it interesting how that story seems to have resonated with people. Already I have had a couple of other people tell me about an encounter they have had with a street preacher.

Here are a few highlights from Ken's piece:

Kaylor ... uses this book to remind Christians that the way in which we communicate has the potential to harm the cause of Christ, regardless of how correct a position might be.

... Certainly, he has a wealth of contemporary examples--both good and bad--that bolster his positions.

... The book's style is conversational, with parenthetical asides thrown in generously, much like sitting next to someone during a lecture who regularly contributes their own two cents' worth.

... We have a responsibility to communicate effectively in every way. The Bible is full of passages related to practicing wise speech while avoiding secondary issues and stupid arguments.

Will Kaylor's book change Christian discourse? It cannot happen until each of us value the worth of fellow Christians and the salvation of non-believers above issues, earthly politics, clever sound bites, bumper sticker mentality and winning at all costs.
Thanks Ken for the kind words! I hope others find this book worthwhile because I sincerely hope that it will in fact change Christian discourse for the better.