Proclaiming Christ Today by Norman Pittenger
Dr. Pittenger, philosopher and theologian, was a senior member of Kingís College, Cambridge for many years, then Professor of Christian Apologetics at the General Theological Seminary in New York City, before retiring in 1966. Published by The Seabury Press, Greenwich, Connecticut, 1962. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.
This book is an outgrowth of Dr. Pittengerís concern for the "apologetic" or "gospeling" of those who are in the parish ministry or will soon enter it.
Chapter 1. The Gospel We Proclaim
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.
Chapter 2. The Setting of the Gospel
The author challenges those who are ministers, that they are "men under authority," the authority of our Lord as he has given it to them in and through and by his Body, the Church. The church is the setting for the gospel itself. It is more than the sum of the divisions of the church.
Chapter 3: The People to Whom We Preach
Our preaching of the gospel must bring to the lonely, the lost, the heavy-laden people joy and peace in believing. If it does not do that then we are not preaching the gospel.
Chapter 4: Problems in Proclaiming the Gospel Today
Preachers of the gospel must see for themselves, and then help our people to see, that it is wrong to take language that is symbolically apt and use it as if it were language that is philosophically and scientifically precise.
Chapter 5: The Gospel Expressed in Worship
Ministers in Christís Church are by common consent set apart for the double task of declaring the "pure Word of God" and celebrating the Lordís Supper according to Christís command and ordinance.
Chapter 6: The New Spirit
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.
Appendix A: Teaching Christian Faith and Ethics
The author emphasizes the importance of creating church membership instruction which challenges an intelligent interest in the discussion of important religious question of our day if we are to have an informed laity.
Appendix B: The Scope of Preaching and Evangelism
A proper sermon can begin almost anywhere, and may be developed along almost any lines, provided that its ultimate starting point is Holy Scripture, in which the record and witness to the gospel are found, and that its final point of reference is always the Lord Jesus Christ, declared to be the Son of God with power.
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