Awakened by Easter

Article by Gayraud Wilmore

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 …

Chapter 2: Preaching as the Interface of Two Social Worlds: The Congregation as Corporate Agent in the Act of Preaching, Don M. Wardlaw  in  Preaching As A Social Act: Theology and Practice

Book Chapter by Arthur Van Seters (ed.)

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.

Chapter 2: The Pulpit in the Spotlight  in  As One Without Authority

Book Chapter by Fred B. Craddock

Preaching has been affected by our movement into the oral-aural world. The electronic age with its offering of a wide variety of ways to present the human voice has commanded new attention to oral language. It would be fruitful if the minister would explore the profundity of the ordinary experience of this oral-aural world — conversing, talking, listening-speaking.

Chapter 2: What We Proclaim  in  Preaching the Gospel

Book Chapter by Norman Pittenger

The ordained minister’s function is to proclaim Jesus Christ and him crucified and risen from among the dead. This is simply and plainly Love — Love-in-act, God as Love, God as the cosmic Lover whose sweep is all-inclusive, but the application of which is particular for each and every man or woman or child.

Chapter 3: Laymen’s Responses to Preaching  in  Partners in Preaching: Clergy and Laity in Dialogue

Book Chapter by Reuel L. Howe

In an extended study the laity complained about preaching in the following order: 1. Too many ideas too fast; 2. Too much analysis and too few answers; 3. Too formal and too impersonal; 4. The preacher assumes the layman knows more about scripture than he does; 5. Sermons are too propositional, containing too few illustrations and those presented often not helpful; 6. Too many sermons go nowhere, reaching a dead end with no guidance to commitment and action.

Chapter 5: The Preaching Situation  in  Partners in Preaching: Clergy and Laity in Dialogue

Book Chapter by Reuel L. Howe

Dialogue is the interaction between two or more people in response to the truth; it is also the process of assimilation by which perceived truth becomes embodied in the person, becomes part of him. As we see it, dialogue provides the give and take, check and balance, test and correction, that human beings need both to understand rightly and to communicate accurately.

Chapter 5: The Social Function of Language in Preaching, by Ronald J. Allen  in  Preaching As A Social Act: Theology and Practice

Book Chapter by Arthur Van Seters (ed.)

Our physical surroundings have an effect in ways which we feel and act. In much the same way, language shapes the ways we think, feel, and act in the world. Christian preaching seeks a world shaped by the gospel. Insightful preachers are therefore conscious of the social function of language and their sermons.

Chapter 6: The New Spirit  in  Proclaiming Christ Today

Book Chapter by Norman Pittenger

Our age needs a new spirit — a deeply religious, theologically oriented, and traditionally grounded understanding of Christianity that is prepared to look critically at the inherited system of Christian thought and restate it in such terms as shall make sense to men and women who are living in these more empirical times.

Chapter 6: The Social Power of Myth as a Key to Preaching on Social Issues, by Thomas H. Troeger  in  Preaching As A Social Act: Theology and Practice

Book Chapter by Arthur Van Seters (ed.)

Thomas Troeger sets out to explore those metaphors, symbols, and narratives from which a group draws its reason for being, sustains its current life, and envisions and realizes its future. His first example is Hitler and the methods he used to gain control of the majority of the German people.

Dialogue at Christmas

Article by Amos N. Wilder

One of the minim burst in on the Rabbi and exclaimed: “The Messiah has come!” The Rabbi went to the window and looked out, and demurred: “Nothing has changed.” “As of old, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, day and night; a generation goes and a generation comes but the earth remaineth the same What …

God Newborn

Article by Elizabeth Bettenhausen

"God’s my size! " The three-year-old girl jumped up and ran to tell her mother. "Mom, God’s my size!" She got the idea while lying on her stomach looking at the creche beneath the Christmas tree. Eye-level with a baby is a good position from which to do theology. At Christmas God is newborn, less …

Metaphor and Sacrament

Article by Robert Jones

As a text I used Theory of Literature, by Rene Wellek and Austin Warren (Harcourt, Brace, 1956). The students wouldn’t read it. Those were bad days for the theory of anything. But in that book I came across a sentence that has anchored my intellectual life ever since: "The four basic elements in our whole …

Never-Ending Story

Article by Barbara Brown Taylor

As a preacher and teacher, I make my living telling stories. While I know people who say that they “use” stories to make important points, I am one of those listeners who consistently remember the stories and forget the points. That is because the points tend to be perfectly clear and well behaved, as very …

Preaching as a Communicative Act:  the Birth of a Performance

Article by Richard F. Ward

Introduction I am a practitioner of performance studies who, by choice and circumstance, keeps professional company with those who teach and practice preaching. My colleague David Bartlett has written that anyone’s approach to preaching and the teaching of preaching must be subjectival; one must make one’s biases explicit. This article tells how one set of …

Preaching as One-Way Communication: An Interview with Gabe Campbell

Article by Parker Rossman

In preparation for a lecture on “Electronic Communications in the Parish: Year 2000” at an Ohio University conference on technological communication and the churches, Parker Rossman sought out Gabe Campbell, pastor of First Congregational Church in Stamford, Connecticut, as one involved in the use of new technology. The New York Times and New Catholic World …

Preaching Lawfully

Article by Paul E. Koptak

The title for this message was inspired by 1 Timothy 1:8, which may be translated, "We know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully." Today I would like to extend that idea to preaching and add that the law is good and should be preached lawfully. Whether we understand "lawfully" to mean …

Proclaiming Christ Today

Book by Norman Pittenger

(ENTIRE BOOK) From a theological approach Dr. Pittenger discusses the Christian Gospel, those to whom it is preached, it’s application to the present, it’s expression in worship and it’s challenge in an age of reason.

Pulpit Play

Article by Barbara Brown Taylor

Book Review: Discovering a Sermon: Personal Pastoral Preaching. By Robert C. Dykstra. Chalice Press, 154 pp. Whether you are a preacher of sermons or a listener to them, you know how much rides on that 15 or 20 minutes in the pulpit. Hungry people are waiting to be fed. A holy God is waiting to …