Preaching at the Crossroads
How the World—and Our Preaching—Is Changing
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Augsburg Fortress Publishers
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Title Page, Copyright
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The idea of a single author is a convenient myth. Yes, one person often sets pen to paper—or more likely punches on the keys of a laptop—yet there is so much more that goes into bringing the thoughts and ideas of any project to publication. This book is no exception. It was, as I mention in the introduction, in many ways written backwards. Only after I’d written a number of the parts...
Introduction: At the Crossroads
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When I was twelve, my family and I took a white-water rafting trip down the Roaring Fork River of Colorado. Not content to simply ride along, we opted for the more adventurous route of paddling ourselves. This meant we straddled the pontoon of the raft with one leg inside and one leg dipped into the icy...
Preaching at the End of the World (as We Know It)
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Whether you are reading various preaching and theological periodicals, church growth literature, journalistic magazines like the Atlantic, or almost anything else that comments on our contemporary culture, you’ve probably been struck by the degree to which all of them agree on at least one thing: our world is changing, and changing faster than at any period in recent history....
The Preacher and the Postmodern Bible
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Having examined a number of the challenges postmodernism and its relentless skepticism present to contemporary preachers, I want in this chapter to focus on one that has been especially vexing: given the variety of vested interests we each bring to the process of biblical interpretation and proclamation, how do...
Preaching Hope in the Secular Age
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There’s a scene in the film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’s dystopian novel The Hunger Games that, while it wasn’t in the book, fits the story perfectly. President Snow, the totalitarian ruler of futuristic Panem, asks his chief Gamesmaker— the one charged with creating a spectacle as entertaining as it is barbaric—why the Games must have a winner. The answer? Hope. Snow wants...
Preaching the Grandeur of God in the Everyday
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Given that in the previous chapter I named the dominant challenge of the secular age as a “crisis of immanence” that has resulted in a loss of hope, it may seem obvious that our challenge and call is to proclaim the transcendent promises of God in order to create and sustain vibrant Christian hope. And indeed, as I suggested, that is part of the challenge—but only part....
Ministry and Preaching in the Age of Digital Pluralism
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Each of us, I suspect, has a story about a conversation with someone who used to go to church but no longer does. Actually, each of us probably has any number of stories told by folks we met at a party or struck up a conversation with while waiting at the doctor’s office. These stories usually tumble out when we’ve disclosed what we do for a living, as if the person with whom we are...
Preaching and Christian Identity
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Postmodernism, secularism, pluralism—these are significant and complicated topics, and I am grateful if you’ve been willing to wrestle with them. But while their antecedents, causes, and outcomes can at times feel as convoluted as they are complex, their influence in the lives of our people are often far more straightforward....
Afterword: The Long and Winding Road
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After climbing down that embankment away from the bull and getting back into the cold white water, I ended up body-rafting for another mile or two down through the ravine until the river eventually widened and slowed, so I could swim to a nearby bank and wait for my family to catch up in the raft. By...
Page Count: 124
Publication Year: 2013