September 5 marked the passing of the Lutheran theologian Robert Jenson. Widely regarded as the leading American theologian of his generation, and perhaps, as some maintain, the greatest American theologian since Jonathan Edwards, Jenson was a leading influence in advocating for a theological renewal of the church that was, at one and the same time, profoundly evangelical and catholic. Continue reading Robert Jenson: Servant of the Church, Evangelical and Catholic
In the 18th Joseph Smith Memorial Lecture delivered at Overdale College in Birmingham, England in 1979, published as a pamphlet under the title “Preaching Christ Today”, Lesslie Newbigin suggested that the crucial issue facing preachers today is discerning the proper relationship between Law and Gospel. (Interestingly, this was also a pressing concern for Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his seminarians in the mid-30s.) Continue reading Newbigin on the Challenge of Preaching Christ Today
In addition to teaching two theology courses at Tyndale Seminary in the upcoming fall semester, I am also going to be teaching the “Basics of Preaching” course at Wycliffe College at the University of Toronto. In preparation for my foray into the homiletics classroom, I’ve been revisiting many of the preaching books I’ve read over the years. One such book is The Foolishness of Preaching: Proclaiming the Gospel against the Wisdom of the World by the late Episcopalian priest Robert Farrar Capon. Continue reading Some Delectable Morsels on Preaching from Robert Farrar Capon
Earlier this year, Bloomsbury T&T Clark published a collection of conversations between the renowned theological ethicist Stanley Hauerwas and Brian Brock, who teaches at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. Brock, who is himself quite an accomplished theological ethicist and is clearly conversant in Hauerwas’s writings, proves to be a worthy interlocutor for Hauerwas. The book is entitled Beginnings: Interrogating Hauerwas. Continue reading With Friends Like These . . .
I came across this quote this morning from Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536). Erasmus, who is sometimes described as “the prince of the humanists,” was a reforming voice within the church in the 16th century, although he never formally broke from Rome. His critical edition of the Greek New Testament was highly influential for Reformers across the continent. Unfortunately, the Magisterial Reformers in appealing to the secular authorities for assistance in reforming the church in some ways contributed to the further entrenchment of the competing national loyalties Erasmus is attempting to combat in this quotation: Continue reading A Modest Proposal
“An evangelist is a man who lives in and by and for the Gospel, who lets it master him so completely that he can never be free from it either in waking or sleeping, who lets it saturate his thoughts and feelings and actions, and who therefore confronts men with the Gospel not just when he ascends the pulpit but in all his dealings with them. It burns like a fire in him and from time to time it flashes out and sets other men on fire. Continue reading The Makings of an Evangelist