Description: Groans of the Spirit constitutes a rousing challenge to mainline churches and their practice of preaching. In this inventive work, Timothy Slemmons calls preachers beyond the formalism of the New Homiletic, and beyond the ethical proposals that have arisen in the frustrated struggle to transcend it, and toward what the author calls a ""penitential"" (reformed) homiletic. This new homiletical proposal is distinctive in that it faithfully adheres to the Christological content of preaching, finds its inspiration in the promise of the real presence of Christ, and trusts in the ministry of the Holy Spirit, from whom alone the power for the renewal of the mainline church shall come. This book includes a thorough reconsideration of the ""infinite qualitative difference"" between God and humanity in Barth's thought, an important critique of Gadamer's reception of Kierkegaard's concept of contemporaneity, an undelivered lecture on the content of preaching, and two sermons that illustrate Slemmons's important proposals. Groans of the Spirit is a long-considered, calculated, and overdue break with conventional hermeneutics that proposes a vital homiletical pneumatology, which draws the art of the sermon out of the ghetto of mere rhetoric and presents it as it truly is: as theological reflection of the first order, the church's primary language of faith. Endorsements: ""Tim Slemmons has written a 'thick, ' passionate study of the fruitful grounding for preaching. His advocacy pivots on the verdict of Isaiah that 'my ways are not our ways.' With appeal to Barth and Kierkegaard (and a glance at Gadamer), he lines out the radical, defining 'infinite qualitative difference between the divine and the human, between eternity and temporality' that permits the good news from 'there' to 'here.' Before he finishes, Slemmons offers two sermons exemplifying his bold theology in bold practice. Readers will, as a result of reading, preach differently and/or listen differently."" --Walter Brueggemann Columbia Theological Seminary ""Tim Slemmons argues passionately that the most important issues in preaching are theological. What is the significance for preaching of Isaiah's claim that God's ways are not our ways or of the New Testament's claim that Jesus Christ draws all people to himself but is also a narrow gate? Not just preachers, but all those concerned about faithful preaching will find much to ponder in these splendid essays."" --George W. Stroup Columbia Theological Seminary About the Contributor(s): Timothy Matthew Slemmons is Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Worship at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. His sermons, essays, and poems have appeared in various publications.