For one whose whole ministry has been spent theological teaching it may seem presumptuous to speak on the subject of preaching. Those who minister regularly in the Church’s congregations have a much more immediate experience of what it means to be a preacher than do those of us who are engaged in academic work. Yet it may be that, entirely apart from the preaching of the gospel in which any theological teacher does in fact from time to time engage outside the walls of his school, his experience in teaching those who are to be clergy of the Church, and in my case a special concern for the "apologetic" of "gospeling," can be of use to those who are in the parish ministry or are soon to enter it, and who are now or soon will be forced to consider with utmost seriousness the obligation in this matter of preaching the gospel which their ordination lays upon them.
The chapters of this book are in substance the lectures delivered in Australia, during my visit to that country in the autumn of 1959. Either in full or in part, they were delivered at St John’s College, Morpeth, New South Wales; St Mark’s Collegiate Library, Canberra, A.C.T.; the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland; and before meetings, sponsored by the Australian Council for the World Council of Churches, held in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney.
They have also served as the basis for a series of lectures which I have delivered during the past several years in the United States and in Canada -- in Maryland, Delaware, North Dakota, California, Oregon, Hawaii, Washington, D.C., and at Huron College in London, Ontario. Chapter V is based on a lecture which was given at Yale Divinity School several years ago, in connection with a symposium on Christian Worship.
To the many clergymen who attended the conferences in the United States and Canada, at which I delivered the lectures; to those who so patiently listened to them in Australia; and to the friends who made the arrangements for these several occasions, I am deeply grateful. I should like especially to thank the trio of former students of mine from Australia who so kindly welcomed me, entertained me, and worked out the program of my travels ‘down under’: the Right Reverend John C. Vockler, Bishop of Mount Gambier; the Reverend Gordon D. Griffith, Vice-Principal of St John’s College, Morpeth; and the Reverend David M. Taylor, Secretary of the Australian Council for the World Council of Churches. It is impossible to list separately the many leaders in the Christian Church in Australia, of all denominations, who were so generous to me during my stay in their country; but I thank them with all my heart for all that they did to make my visit memorable and pleasant. I must also make special mention of Dr. and Mrs. Clarence I. Benson of Port Deposit, Maryland, for their kindnesses when I gave these lectures in the Episcopal diocese of Easton.
W. Norman Pittenger
The General Theological Seminary,
New York City