Category Archives: Reflections

Remembrance Day in the Church

In 1932, Dietrich Bonhoeffer preached in Berlin on Volkstrauertag—the German equivalent to Remembrance Day in Canada.  Interestingly, one of his main emphases throughout the sermon is that the way Memorial Day is observed in the church should differ from the way that is observed in other contexts.  I made a similar point in a 2013 article entitled, “Remembering Rightly: The Pastoral Dilemma of Remembrance Day,” although I can’t recall if I had read Bonhoeffer’s 1932 sermon at the time I wrote it. Continue reading Remembrance Day in the Church

95 at 500

The following is an extract from a sermon I preached this past Sunday at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Scarborough.  The service made use of some of the liturgical resources prepared conjointly by  the Presbyterian Church in Canada and the Christian Reformed Church to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  It is not a scholarly treatment, nor does it exhaustively treat the complex and often ambiguous legacy of the Reformation.  Rather, it simply attempts to acquaint people with the person of Martin Luther and some of the early developments associated with the beginning of the Reformation in Germany. Continue reading 95 at 500

Robert Jenson: Servant of the Church, Evangelical and Catholic

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

Newbigin on the Challenge of Preaching Christ Today

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

Some Delectable Morsels on Preaching from Robert Farrar Capon

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