Old Wineskins for Preaching Conceptual Method: an argument in support of an idea Development by a Series of Points Model of Rational Persuasion
Old Style Preaching Result of Several Factors 1. The linear way of thinking from the printing press 2. Aristotelian Rhetoric: original narrative preaching of 1 st century corrupted by Aristotelian model in 2 nd century
Deductive and Inductive “deductive movement is from the general truth to the particular application or experience while inductive is the reverse” Craddock “The minister says ’all men are mortal’ and meets drowsy agreement; he announces that ‘Mr. Brown’s son is dying’ and the church becomes the church.”
New Vision: lead the congregation to experience the dynamic of the text A hearer oriented homiletic (think Craddock)
CREATIVE VISION Invite the congregation to participate in the preacher’s journey of discovery and draw their own conclusions (postmodern?)
For Craddock, that Homiletical Genius Two Eureka Moments (when you discover the thrust of the passage; when you envision the strategy for preaching it) Two Chairs: the analytical chair; the intuitive or imaginative chair
What is the text doing? The text may be lamenting, praising, singing, criticizing, blessing Then why not design the sermon to imitate the text and do what it does
So Be indirect Use story Leave it unfinished, inviting the hearer to complete Don’t use points but have a point, a destination
PREACHING AS STORYTELLING Christians are people who know some stories and tell them to others Buechner in The Magnificent Defeat The models for preaching as storytelling are in the Gospels themselves (Amos Wilder, Early Christian Rhetoric)
AFRICAN AMERICAN PREACHING “IS IMAGINATIVAE, NARRATIVE AND PRONE TO GENERATE EXPERIENTIAL ENCOUNTER” Henry Mitchell MLK told the story of a people
Question after Black Sermon CAN THE PREACHER TELL THE STORY?
Three Important Emphases of the “Revolution” 1. Inductive Approach (movement to a point rather than from a point) 2. The Sermon Design itself a narrative 3. A favored attitude toward Narrative texts
Lowry’s Contributions “doing time in the pulpit” Freedom in the pulpit Participatory The beginning should upset and create a homiletical bind Preaching must dare to dance on the edge of mystery Sermon should be a plot, an evocative event
“The Lowry Loop” 1. Upsetting the Equilibrium: OOPS 2. Analyzing the Discrepancy: UGH! 3. Disclosing the Clue to Resolution: AHA! 4. Experiencing the Gospel: WHEE! 5. Anticipating the Consequences: YEAH!
Outcome Has found a hearing Makes a Lasting Impact on Preaching Has rooted the Sermon in the experience of the Text
Limitations of the New Way of Preaching 1. Works best in a Christian culture with hearers immersed in the Christian tradition. Biblical illiteracy grows. Congregations are more shaped by the values of a secular culture 2. The Church finds itself in “exile,” surrounded by a culture of consumer capitalism, moral relativism, narcissism
Critique Continued 3. Focus on technique (form, design, strategy) to the neglect of a larger theological agenda 4. Tendency to Ignore the other biblical genre, having found its model in the parable 5. Hearers hearing only narrative preaching will have little grasp of the reflective dimensions of the Christian faith
And a few more limits 6. Reluctance to speak with authority or make claims for change in the lives of the hearers 7. The NT includes both story and rational persuasion. Even narrative gospels include discourses (as Mt.). We now realize that Aristotelian forms appear in the NT in the 1 st century.
WHAT IS MISSING? PAUL AND HIS LETTERS ! (21 of the 27 books of the NT are epistolary, not narrative)
Paul, a Forgotten Mentor Dependence on the Power of the Gospel The Preacher’s Captivity to the Word of God The Preacher”s Awareness of the Larger Agenda of Preaching James Thompson, Preaching like Paul
Preaching Paul in a Worship Service 1. Witnessing to the Power of the Gospel. a. So ponder how Paul saw manifestations of the power of the gospel b. So look for the fulfilment of the promise in the concreteness of our lives
2. Since worship is a celebration (1 Cor. 5:8) Worship should be reoriented toward a congregational celebration of the present manifestations of God The the community of believers can perceive its vocation to the world Daniel Patte, Preaching Paul
Preaching like Paul 1. Should be pastoral (2 Cor.) 2. Should be evangelistic (kerygma): the declaration of God’s saving events (Thessalonians) 3. Should be deductive arguments that make a case 4. Should contribute to he continued formation of community. Sermons are to churches and not just to individuals.
Fresh Pauline Visions 1. Vision of a countercultural existence 2. Vision of alternative values 3. Vision of the transformation of a community into a holy people
Preaching as Remembering (Rom.15:15) Preaching in a non-Christian land in which people do not know the stories
The Better Way (1 Cor. 13):one thing that can restore community Your church may not face conflict over gifts but competing ministries 1. (We search for the better way): traditional or contemporary worship, social justice or evangelism, Bible study or action? 2. 2. (What matters is love)
3. (What is love?) (p 155) 4. (Love endures forever)” Duane Thomas asked how does it feel to play in the ultimate game