Wednesday, August 27, 2008

About Preaching

Ideally, preaching will bring the message of one part of the Bible home to the hearer in a vivid, creative way that causes a response of faith, love, and hope in the hearer. The ideal sermon will bring the hearer a new insight into the life situation of the congregation and will proclaim the good news of God's grace in Jesus. But preaching often has a bad reputation, sometimes well deserved. Sometimes the sermon does not relate to the Bible; other times it does not relate to the hearers. But there are plenty of good preachers out there if you look for them. The main point for me as a listener is not simply to condemn or give up, but to look hard for some thought or inspiration that can be helpful in my life. If the sermon is totally unhelpful, I will look elsewhere in the service for elements that are encouraging to my spiritual life.

Bradley P. Holt, Thirsty for God: A Brief History of Christian Spirituality (Philadelphia: Fortress, 2005), p. 43.

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