I’ve had the privilege of spending this week with the Doctor of Ministry cohort at Providence Theological Seminary leading them a week-long intensive course entitled “Thinking and Interpreting Theologically.” While not large in size, the members of the cohort manage to represent both coasts of Canada, the province of Manitoba, and the country of Nigeria. Continue reading The Meaning of a Sermon: Some Wisdom from Flannery O’Connor
My colleague at Providence Theological Seminary, Joshua Coutts, Assistant Professor of New Testament, recently presented a wonderful paper on the nature and use of Scripture at our Fall Biblical and Theological Studies Symposium. The paper was entitled, “Formed by the Word in an Age of Information: Recovering a Christian Approach to Scripture.” Another of my colleagues, Ed Neufeld, Professor of Biblical Studies provided a short response, in which he began by drawing some connections between Coutts’s paper and my essay “A Tale of Two Stanleys.” You can watch both the paper and response below:
I had the privilege of preaching at Niverville Community Fellowship this morning. In November, I will be presenting series of seminars in their adult education program on ethical issues surrounding Medically Assisted Dying. However, from a Christian perspective, it’s impossible to ask what it might mean to die a good death, if you don’t first consider what it means to live a good life. Hence the title of my upcoming series, “Living Well, Dying Well.” In advance of that series I preached a sermon this morning that brought Psalm 8, Genesis 3:1-7 and Hebrews 2:5-18 into conversation. You can watch the sermon here. (The sermon begins around the 36 minute mark.)
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
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