Roland Zimany is a retired Lutheran minister with an impressive resume of post-graduate degrees and experience in the public sector as well. His book, Sermons with Insight is a collection of 51 sermons presented to his congregation in Des Moines, Iowa during his five-year tenure as pastor there.
The first section of sermons follows the liturgical church calendar beginning with Advent and Christmas and ending with Reformation Day. The second section of sermons addresses a variety of topics with titles such as “Transformative Prayer,” “The Cost of Discipleship,” “Being Born Again,” “Sacrifice,” etc.
Zimany is a solid communicator. His messages are thoughtful, theologically sound, and, for the most part, reflect the doctrines embraced by the Lutheran denomination, although not always from a fundamentalist view. In addition, Zimany interjects a strong leaning toward social justice, economic equality, and environmental responsibility into his lessons. In that way, he combines biblically sound teaching with practical application.
The collection offers direct transcriptions of the sermons as they were originally presented. As such, they include conversational tics, such as “Now the good news is that…”; “You see…” “Well, that’s easy to say…” These don’t work as well on the printed page as they would in a verbal presentation and can seem jarring.
The book also suffers from the lack of an introduction to explain the author’s intent in publishing these sermons and offer details about his background (the credentials cited here were found on Google).
Despite such drawbacks, Zimany provides interesting perspectives on many topics. While this collection of sermons lacks general appeal, Lutheran readers will find much to consider here.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.