return to religion-onlineThe Art of Preaching
As for the promise to abide by the lectionary, a funny thing happened on the way to the pulpit. The author found the use of the lectionary not only not constricting, but liberating.
THIS BOOK HAS BEEN REMOVED AT THE REQUEST OF THE METHODIST PUBLISHING HOUSE.
Some preachers think inductive preaching means being deliberately obscure; the congregation is invited to discover not the message in the text, but whatever it is the preacher is trying to say. A positive view of inductive preaching is presented.
(ENTIRE BOOK) Discussion of a style of preaching that incarnates the word in the method, by one of the deans of 20th century American preaching.
The thought comes to the author that it is just not possible to sleep enveloped in the glow and glory of the Risen Christ. One has to be up and doing something worthwhile, something that draws strength from the resurrection, something related to the victory over death.
A Christmas poem.
If Jesus’ resurrection is the end of the story, then we’re in really big trouble. All our hopes could be realized, and we’re being enlisted to make them come to pass. The bottom line is no longer Business As Usual, but Everything Is Up for Grabs. The lid is off: Neighbors are to be loved rather than mistrusted. Enemies are to be loved even when we oppose them. How inconvenient.
Those who have dared to preach the truth have been martyred or persecuted; yet somehow we expect that the parish preacher can denounce sin and still continue to be popular. The pulpit that declares the unvarnished truth will not have a large following.
At Christmas adults are offered again grace abundant in the newborn and embodied in three-year-olds. Theological sophistication will have its day. Ethical complexity will have its place. Working for justice will have its season. But at Christmas it is all right to lie on the floor -- dirt or carpet, prison or home, office or shelter -- eye-level with a baby, listening to a three-year-old, near or far, call out, "God’s my size!"
If sacrament depends on Word becoming flesh, then metaphor depends on flesh becoming word. Our problem is that we have gotten stuck on a theory of substances -- transubstantiation, consubstantiation -- rather than looking into the nature of language and the ways meanings are made.
Whether one is considering a birthday celebration, civil ceremony, or ecclesiastical liturgy, our capacity for both imagining and assessing ritual processes and performances is weak.
The author explains the importance of "story." The truly astonishing thing about the Bible is that it includes stories from outside the fold, where God seems determined to work through those whom the community of faith has cast out.
Plagiarism is widely practiced by parish pastors hard pressed to produce a fresh sermon weekly. The use of other ministerís materials in ones sermons brings us up against a profoundly ethical issue.
One of the most amazing evidences of the spiritual genius and human courage of Jesus is the way he transcended the male-dominated culture in which he lived and saw women as persons.
(ENTIRE BOOK) Preaching has power when it is dialogical, when preacher and people become partners in the discernment and proclamation by word and action of the Word of God in response to the issues of our day.
Whether one is considering a birthday celebration, civil ceremony, or ecclesiastical liturgy, our capacity for both imagining and assessing ritual processes and performances is weak. If we make performance do as much work for us as it is capable of doing, we not only reach a fuller understanding of our roles as rhetors and rhetoricians but we may also discover a stronger sense of agency.
"Performance" is a problematic term in discourse about homiletics. Usually equated with narrow applications of theatrical imagery, "performance" is often pejoratively used by homileticians to identify "inauthenticity" in preaching. Performance-centered research has permeated other disciplines of communication and offered conceptual replenishment as well as richer possibilities for dialogue among scholars. The purpose of this essay is to reconstitute the term for homiletics by grounding it in the emergent discipline of "performance studies."
As a Communication
Act: The Birth of a Performance, by Richard F. Ward
Performance is a resource for homiletics because it addresses this problem of integrating language, sound and movement in an oral, interpretive act in human communication. The author illustrates.
(ENTIRE BOOK) Van Seters focuses on how preaching is shaped by its societal reality. Distinguishing between listeners and listeners as congregation, the social aspects of preaching are addressed. Each chapter is by a different author allowing a wide view of preaching,. Also preaching as a social act is examined.
Most preaching is still one-way communication, despite all the talk about dialogue sermons; yet Protestantism becomes feeble whenever the laity become passive. Christian communication must always be two-way. The mainline churches are going to have their turn on the electronic stage as two-way communication becomes increasingly possible on radio and TV.
The greatest power of preaching is when it becomes a subversive language event and announces in familiar context of secular language something that is utterly hidden: the fugitive God of the Christian tradition. When this event occurs, the fragmenting, destructive power of inauthentic language is smashed and subverted.
Whether we understand lawfully to mean according to the rules (2 Tim 2:5), or in line with the character of biblical law, those who preach must model sound preaching from the law.
One of the marks of a healthy conscience is an awareness of one's own limitations, a desire to test one's beliefs in a larger arena, to draw from the best that a religious tradition has to offer, to feel that one is not isolated and alone in the face of great moral perplexities. How will preachers respond to this hunger for guidance? The preacher may deliver a single message, but its meanings and implications will vary widely among the members of the congregation. The authors describe the contexts for preaching on ethical issues, and provide a case study.
(ENTIRE BOOK) A very helpful approach to preaching of the gospel from the general perspective of "Process" thought.
(ENTIRE BOOK) From a theological approach Dr. Pittenger discusses the Christian Gospel, those to whom it is preached, itís application to the present, it's expression in worship and itís challenge in an age of reason.
Barbara Brown Taylor reviews a book on preaching by Robert C. Dykstra: This is a brave book, in which Dykstra does what he counsels others to do. He dives deep into the human psyche (which is to say, the human soul) to discover powerful and therefore dangerous resources for faithful transformation.
(ENTIRE BOOK) A reassessment of the minister’s role as preacher in contemporary society -- a re-evaluation made necessary by developments in theology and culture.
Recent theological writing is imprecise and pretentious in the use of the language. More precision and clarity are needed in the writing of theology -- along with a more careful examination of why and for whom it is being written.
When we try to communicate the experience of salvation we can only use analogies, symbols and poetic images. Unfortunately, most of the traditional ones come from another era, another culture, time and place. How can we find more relevant ways to communicate the Gospel today?