Preaching That Makes the Word Plain
Doing Theology in the Crucible of Life
William Clair Jr. Turner
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Description: This work includes essays in preaching method and a series of sermons on Romans 10, a mini-treatise on preaching. It reflects on the tasks of preaching and teaching preaching as a form of communication that is critical to the life of the church. Despite the numerous existing volumes, useful texts are still needed. The quest is for methods of preparation that can be applied with consistency, and that suggest habits for labor, which can be tedious or cause tasteless outcomes. The volume is intended as a contribution to replenishing voices that already have spoken ably and eloquently. It is located in the praxis of one who preaches with weekly regularity, while at the same time teaching homiletics. It aims at absorbing and synthesizing proven methods, while relating them to a generation that lives in the tensions of faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ, the decline of a Christian consensus in the culture, the rise of secularism, and competition from other religions. Added to that is the challenge of vying for space in the public sphere with countless social prophets, such as talk show hosts, radio commentators, screen writers, and entertainers with various agendas. What one finds in the following pages is a venture of service to the newly called, the fledgling preachers, the veterans, as well as those who teach. It dares to challenge proverbs like, ""It is better caught than taught,"" or ""Those who know don't tell, and those who tell don't know."" It risks a word in an attempt to speak reflectively about a task that is daunting to the novice and as near to a veteran as a second skin. It is a brazen attempt to step out of ""comfortable skin"" to tell another how it feels from the inside. It hazards a gesture to say how to do the work with confidence without becoming arrogant. How do you scratch the pad or go to a blank computer screen from week to week? By what means does one glean and give a fresh word before the exhaustion of delivering the last word has abated? Web sites that supply sermons are in the public domain and can easily be discovered. The challenge for those who mount the pulpit from week to week does not relent. The labor reflected in these pages is born of the bias that all preaching can be improved with study, reflection, and critical assistance. About the Contributor(s): William Clair Turner Jr. is Associate Professor of the Practice of Homiletics at Duke University Divinity School and Pastor of Mt. Level Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina. He is the author of A Journey Through the Covenant: Discipleship for African American Christians and The United Holy Church of America: A Study in Black Holiness Pentecostalism.
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