Preaching is as dangerous and as exhilarating as careening down some class IV rapids. It is dangerous because in the Old Testament, God prescribed the death penalty for preaching one's own opinion when called to speak God's Word. The pulpit is no casual or safe place But preaching is also exhilarating because God places his creative, life-giving word right into your mouth. And though you don't know what will happen next, something that God appointed will definitely happen when you, the preacher, say what God authorizes you to say. This book is the result of over thirty years of wrestling with God's word. It expresses some of my astonishment over how faithfully God acts through preaching that word. Preaching is God's business. Mostly the preacher needs to get out of the way and let God do the talking. When that is the case, your hearers will tell you about it, and you will be less likely to miscarry in some of the myriad ways listed in this book. Hopefully, Luther's design for the way preachers bring that life-giving word of promise will encourage and promote and, once again, bring the same world-changing power that was let loose in the Reformation. ""The bondage of the will is not a theological slogan or category. It speaks the truth and only hope of our existence. As a parish pastor who has had the joy and awesome responsibility of preaching week in and week out for 33 years, it is clear that Toso gets at the heart of what preaching is and does in a refreshing and encouraging way. The preacher delivers the electing word of the living and risen Jesus in real time to broken sinners."" --Randy Freund, Augustana District Service Coordinator, LCMC, and Pastor, New Creation Lutheran Church, Perham, MN ""Perry Toso declares a faithful and fearless witness to Christ Jesus. He is disciplined and careful, refusing to compromise grace alone with any small tincture of human effort. Christ saves and needs no help."" --James Nestingen, professor of Church History, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN Perry Toso is a Lutheran pastor who has served churches in Montana, San Diego, Scottsdale, Iowa, and Alabama. He now serves a multicultural start-up congregation in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Growing up as a son of Madagascar missionaries, he went back out to Madagascar to teach in a Malagasy church school between college and seminary. He has done three years of doctoral work at Luther seminary, serving for part of that time as Gerhard Forde's teaching assistant.