(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.
I am writing this guest editorial on a red formica-topped table in the small kitchen of my mother’s quiet, early morning house. It is several weeks before Easter, but resurrection is on my mind. Upstairs the floor creaks as the elder of my two younger brothers gets out of bed. Otherwise, this old brick house …
Preachers of the “good news” speak not just for the contemporary Church but for the whole body of faithful people, and God alone knows who has responded faithfully to the divine self-disclosure.
Conversations are reported where the laymen are wrestling with the meaning of their lives and are unable to hear and understand the preaching of the church; and the preachers are struggling with the meaning of the gospel with such exclusive concentration that they are estranged from the meanings of their people.
This lecture is an effort to illuminate the present situation of preacher and parish by exploring the relational determinants suggested by the science of ecology.
The seminarian must be taught a method of preaching that incarnates the message.
Here is seen how we are sacramentally linked across political and social boundaries spatially, and across the generations and centuries temporally. The larger context comes into view.
We are not to preach a “new thing,” but we are to preach the old gospel in a “new way.” The preacher is also the minister of the church and the administrator of the sacraments.
Wardlaw sets up a non-existent congregation based on a number of congregations he has served in the past. This congregation becomes aware that the preaching has a dimension not found in other congregations, coming to see themselves as corporate partners with the preacher, and his preaching.
The theology of ministry implicit in which the preacher sees himself as solely responsible, contradicts the doctrine of ministry that we profess. We profess that all ministries are the ministry of the church. Since the church is made up of clergy and laity, it follows that both have responsibilities in all ministries, and this is no less true for preaching.