A History of Preaching brings together narrative history and
primary sources to provide the most comprehensive guide available to
the story of the church's ministry of proclamation.
Bringing together an impressive array of familiar and lesser-known
figures, Edwards paints a detailed, compelling picture of what it has
meant to preach the gospel. Pastors, scholars, and students of
homiletics will find here many opportunities to enrich their
understanding and practice of preaching.
Volume 1 contains Edwards's magisterial retelling of the story of
Christian preaching's development from its Hellenistic and Jewish roots
in the New Testament, through the late-twentieth century's discontent
with outdated forms and emphasis on new modes of preaching such as
narrative. Along the way the author introduces us to the complexities
and contributions of preachers, both with whom we are already
acquainted, and to whom we will be introduced here for the first time.
Origen, Chrysostom, Augustine, Bernard, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Wesley,
Edwards, Rauschenbusch, Barth; all of their distinctive contributions
receive careful attention. Yet lesser-known figures and developments
also appear, from the ninth-century reform of preaching championed by
Hrabanus Maurus, to the reference books developed in the thirteenth and
fourteenth centuries by the mendicant orders to assist their members'
preaching, to Howell Harris and Daniel Rowlands, preachers of the
eighteenth-century Welsh revival, to Helen Kenyon, speaking as a
layperson at the 1950 Yale Beecher lectures about the view of preaching
from the pew.
Volume 2, available separately as 9781501833786, contains primary
source material on preaching drawn from the entire scope of the church's
twenty centuries. The author has written an introduction to each
selection, placing it in its historical context and pointing to its
particular contribution. Each chapter in Volume 2 is geared to its
companion chapter in Volume 1's narrative history.
Ecumenical in scope, fair-minded in presentation, appreciative of the
contributions that all the branches of the church have made to the
story of what it means to develop, deliver, and listen to a sermon, A History of Preaching will be the definitive resource for anyone who wishes to preach or to understand preaching's role in living out the gospel.
"...'This work is expected to be the standard text on preaching for
the next 30 years,' says Ann K. Riggs, who staffs the NCC's Faith and
Order Commission. Author Edwards, former professor of preaching at
Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, is co-moderator of the commission,
which studies church-uniting and church-dividing issues.
'A History of Preaching is ecumenical in scope and will be relevant in all our churches; we all participate in this field,' says Riggs...." from EcuLink, Number 65, Winter 2004-2005 published by the National Council of Churches