Fleming Rutledge recently delivered the Parchman Lectures at Truett Divinity School located at Baylor University on the theme “By the Word Worked: The Unique Power of Biblical Preaching.” I recently had the opportunity to watch the first two lectures which are available for public viewing through the Parchman Lectures Media Library.
In the second half of the first lecture, Rutledge incisively identified four trends that weaken the power of contemporary preaching, before positing five counter-affirmations about the power of the preached word. In what follows, I’ll attempt to summarize her important observations, in the hope of encouraging interested readers to watch the lecture itself. Continue reading Powerful Preaching: Fleming Rutledge’s Parchman Lectures→
Alan Jacobs, an influential Christian public intellectual who teaches at Baylor University, has published an important piece that traces the morphing of the word “evangelical” in public discourse. He describes how the term that once referred to a vital, denomination-crossing, renewing impulse within Protestant Christianity has now in the public imagination come to refer to a political and social movement characterized by nationalistic sentiments and a vague religiosity. Continue reading The “Evangelical” Crisis→
One of the more prominent homiletical metaphors that is operative in the imaginations of preachers of many different stripes and backgrounds is that of the preacher as a bridge-builder between the ancient world of Scripture and our current cultural moment. Through careful rhetorical engineering, the preacher is able to construct a bridge that is capable of carrying the biblical freight across the chasm of the ages, in the process demonstrating its relevance for today. Continue reading The Preacher as Bridge-Builder: A Misguided Metaphor→
Over the summer, my Good Friday sermon “The Death of an Extremist” appeared as the Feature Sermon in an issue of Theodidaktos on the theme of “Atonement: What is the Message of the Cross?” Theodidaktos is published by the Evangelical Mennonite Conference. The sermon goes back to my time serving as a congregational pastor in Toronto, but it is one of my favourites, narrowly missing the cut for inclusion in Leaps of Faith.Continue reading “The Death of an Extremist”: A Good Friday Sermon→
My Anglican friends at The Living Church have published the theological meditation I shared with the faculty of Providence University College at the opening faculty meeting of the year on their Covenant blog. You can read the full meditation here.
Michael Gorman, a New Testament scholar whose work I have found to be both insightful and refreshing, has recently published a fictional letter from the Apostle Paul to Christians in the United States in the Christian Century. I heard Gorman present an earlier version of this letter during an address at a theological conference at Northeastern University in Rochester, NY, a couple of years ago, which was subsequently published in the Canadian Theological Review. It is well worth the read. I will be incorporating it into my upcoming Christian Ethics course. You can access it here.