Monday, May 10, 2010

The Embodied Theory-Practice Relationship: Two Voices on Vocation as Practical Theologian and Pastor

The Embodied Theory-Practice Relationship: Two Voices on Vocation as Practical Theologian and Pastor

By Stephen Cady and Robert Allan Hill

April 10, 2010

Biennial Meeting
Association for Practical Theology
Boston, MA

The Embodied Theory-Practice Relationship: Two Voices on Vocation as Practical Theologian and Pastor

Over the last three years, we have had many conversations together about the benefits of a bi-vocational commitment as a pastor and academic. Because we are related (Stephen is Bob’s son-in-law), these have mostly occurred informally amid Christmas dinners, summer vacations, and other family visits. However, as we have both found our way more deeply into our commitments in both arenas, we found that the conversation we have shared informally, if more formally offered might be of some service both to the church and to the academy. As such, we offer this paper, written in two voices, sometimes distinguished, but often not, which moves our conversation about the benefits of a bi-vocational commitment as a practical theologian and pastor from the dinner table to the lecture hall.
When I was applying for doctoral work I was given quite a bit of advice. I was offered counsel as to which programs had the most to offer, whose graduates received tenured faculty positions, and how to navigate the rolling waters of the academy. One word of caution, however, sticks out in my mind. On multiple occasions I was told not to mention, under any circumstance, that I had an interest in serving a church either during my doctoral work or after. The fear was that I wouldn’t be taken seriously as an academic. Thankfully, however, I ignored that advice and upon accepting my position as a doctoral candidate in Practical Theology, and with the hesitant approval of my department, I sought an appointment in a local congregation. Admittedly, my decision was motivated more by finances than by principle, but now two years into both my program and my pastorate, I would not have it any other way.
The dichotomy that sometimes is supposed to exist between the faith community and the academy can be unhelpful to both. Like theory and practice, the academy and faith community are not two distinct entities existing in a vacuum. Rather, the academy exists, in part, in service to the faith community, by preparing clergy for leadership in communities of faith. When the distance between the two is overly exaggerated, both the church and the academy lose a valuable partner in ministry and in education.
This paper claims that the relationship of the academy to the faith community is not unlike the relationship of theory to practice: a practical theologian is ideally suited to bridge both divides. The paper argues that far from being an impediment, or a detriment, pastoral experience and leadership concomitant with academic work can actually benefit the research and teaching of the academic as well as the congregation being served. As such, we identify the theologian herself as the locus of this mutuality and claim that the ongoing interaction with the current praxis of the church influences the direction of theoretical studies (and vice versa) in a way that is not fully present without that relationship. To that end, we will first look at the connection of the theory/practice relationship to the academy/faith community relationship before exploring the benefits of this embodiment in the second part of the paper. The final section will suggest a few implications for both sides of the supposed dichotomy.
Part 1
A. Theory/Practice Relationship
At the heart of this conversation is an attempt to rescue practical theology from its perception as merely “applied” theology and to maintain the constructive element of its task. Practical theologians have had carefully to construct their understanding of the relationship between these two crucial components of academic work. In general, contemporary practical theologians seek to allow current practice to inform theories generated in the academy and then to allow those theories to inform the ongoing praxis of the church. Don Browning, for example, says, that “theory arises out of practice and leads back to practice,” in what we might call a theory/practice circle. Richard Osmer, in the appendix to his book The Teaching Ministry of Congregations, highlights several of the ways that practical theologians construct this relationship, ranging from a neo-Marxist to a neo-pragmatist perspective, and recognizes that “decisions about the theory-praxis relationship influence in fundamental ways the phenomena investigated in empirical work, the interpretive framework used to understand what is found, the norms offered to assess both church and society, and the models used to guide and reform present praxis.” However the relationship between these two is worked out, it is worked out within the practical theologian himself. Thus, the role of the practical theologian is to embody this relationship. The commitments she makes to certain sources of justification or forms of cross-disciplinary conversation will affect the relationship between theory and practice as it occurs in specific moments of practical theological inquiry.
The argument of this essay is that just as the relationship between theory and practice is embodied within the person of the practical theologian, so too is the relationship between the academy and faith communities. The job of the practical theologian is to observe the practices of the church (understood broadly) and, through thoughtful interpretation in dialogue with conversation partners from social science and the humanities, to construct a theological response that aims to improve faith practices. In other words, theory is formulated in the academy in dialogue with the practices of the faith community. This conversation happens within the practical theologian himself. Charles Foster investigates this relationship by exploring the pastoral imagination. He affirms “a form of paideia—embodied in the person of pastor, priest, or rabbi—that inspires and equips an imaginative habitus, or way of being in the world, for a religious community.”
The danger for practical theology of becoming applied theology carries over to this relationship as well. That is, one does not want to understand the academy to be the place that creates the rules and the communities of faith to be the places that implement them. At the same time, however, if one focuses too heavily on practice and does not reflect critically on those practices based upon our theological understandings, then one risks allowing thoughtless or harmful practices of faith to be perpetuated. Again, these dangers may be lessened when there is a person who is serving as the embodied bridge between these two important institutions of faith.
The challenge, then, is to find the appropriate balance of construction and interpretation in the mode of practical theological reflection within communities of faith. This, we are claiming, is forged in the person of the practical theologian who is able to be connected both to the academy and to the community of faith, in order to embody the theory/practice relationship.
B. The Swinging Pendulum
Shifts in emphasis within broad ranges of theological study are not uncommon. For many years, for example, within Homiletics, the inductive narrative approach to preaching held the center ground across much of the discipline in the United States (1975—2005, or so). Over time, questions arose and various arguments with them about the narrative emphasis. A chastened inductivity currently still commands much support, but the emphasis has changed. Thomas Long’s recent Lyman Beecher Lectures provide both a clear history of the tidal changes, and a careful defense of a modified narrative approach. Likewise, within New Testament research, in Johannine studies, the stereoptic, two level drama approach to the Fourth Gospel held center ground across much of the discipline, in the United States (1975—2005, or so). However, over time, questions arose and various arguments with them, about the historical and theological claims within the Martyn\Brown\Ashton understanding of John. A current (2007) review of the state of Johannine studies identifies this once pervasive (and still compelling) position as one of five. A chastened ‘aposynagogos’ approach still commands much support, but the emphasis has changed. Shifts in emphasis within broad ranges of theological study are not uncommon. Over time they are to be expected.
This sort of shift in emphasis may now be gradually emerging within practical theology. Bonnie Miller-McLemore has argued that for many years, largely in response to Edward Farley’s critique of the theological encyclopedia, an “academic paradigm” has held the high center ground in the United States. Edward Farley’s Theologia, both built on earlier and presaged later significant approaches which accused the ‘clerical paradigm’ with the ironic elimination of theology from theological education and called for a return to theology as habitus. Miller-McLemore shows how in an attempt to respond to Farley’s critique of theology for the sake of clergy alone, we have created an “academic” paradigm which often views any use of the words “clerical” or “application” as pejorative. Shifts in emphasis within broad ranges of theological study are not uncommon, and are to be expected. This paper’s argument is situated within the possible emergence of one such shift, from a non-clerical, academic paradigm, to or toward a clerically chastened habitus paradigm.
These works and others tend and intend to build on the work of Farley, Browning and others. However, as with the Long (Homiletics) and Ashton (New Testament) reformulations, they also tend and intend to caution against throwing out the baby with the bathwater. They wonder, and wander in various ranges of thought in their wondering, whether the pendulum may have swung too far. Various shared features of these writings deserve note. As a group, they recognize that participation precedes competence. As Miller-McLemore writes in the collection of essays on this theme, For Life Abundant, “[Students] need more than just the capacity to ‘think theologically,’ but also the capacity to “practice theology” by putting theology into action through one’s body on the ground.” Therefore they tend to honor and to highlight situated learning. In fact, for some, the pedagogical perspective employed assumes that such situated learning works best. They draw on varieties within pedagogies of contextualization, in order to engage and expand our understandings of embodied theory and practice, and they attempt to legitimate peripheral participation, or limited participation, as a part of embodied theory practice. To some degree they benefit from the insights provided by Osmer’s ‘second level’ analysis of theological inquiry. Osmer emphasizes that the four practical theological tasks (descriptive\empirical, interpretive, normative, pragmatic) are “distinguishable but not separable,” and hence the hermeneutical circle may be entered at any point. He argues that “reflective practice is epistemic.” Osmer’s definition of rational judgment includes professional values and acquired expertise. He affirms the importance of interdisciplinary partnerships as well, like partnerships with homiletics, biblical studies, and pastoral care.
The argument of this paper is that the personal location of people simultaneously engaged in both pastoral ministry and theological education can be a fruitful embodiment of theory and practice within practical theology. We will now shift our attention to review how this relationship benefits the practical theologian and the church.
Part 2
Embodied Theory-Practice Relationship: A Tale of Two Desks
Every doctoral student is asked to do two things well: read and write. This is partially because most of the student’s life for the foreseeable future will be spent doing those two things. After the student finishes her dissertation and is (hopefully) in a faculty position, the student is asked to add to those two proficiencies the ability to teach. A student in practical theology adds yet another level to this mix inasmuch as a practical theologian is expected to listen well. This is not solely for the purpose of recording class lectures or understanding assignments, but rather refers to the task of practical theological inquiry itself. As Don Browning has stated, practical theological inquiry begins when one is brought up short. Said another way, practical theological inquiry should have magnitude; it should engage an authentic and resonant challenge of the church. In other words, the “practical” side of our field matters. As such, a student of practical theology must develop the ability to listen attentively in order to distinguish the exigent needs of the faith community so that she might describe them fully, interpret them faithfully, assess them normatively, and respond to them strategically. While it is possible for one to develop this careful ear for the on-the-ground dilemmas of the church in the academy solely, it is best developed in consistent and thoughtful participation with living congregations.
Imagine a student who is engaging in doctoral level practical theological inquiry and is searching for a research topic for his dissertation. Chances are high that he had some idea of his interest, and perhaps even narrowed it down significantly, prior to entering his program. As he begins the long and winding road through coursework and exams, however, he will be continually forced to refine and revise that interest so that it may address an exigent need of the church. If the student is currently engaged in pastoral ministry, his ears will already be tuned to the needs of at least one congregation.
Each week someone serving in pastoral ministry is asked to read, write, preach, teach, and listen in order to assess the needs of his or her congregation. This is an ongoing process that continually forces the pastor to engage one’s ministerial imagination in order to discern the salient issues in any given experience of being brought up short, and then to address them swiftly and thoughtfully. In short, the fully engaged pastoral imagination is an ecclesial partner for academic practical theological inquiry. A student of practical theology desires to develop the muscles of the pastoral imagination, and then to benefit from their steady toning throughout her academic work. If this student were to be engaged in the ongoing practice of ministry in a local congregation, he would have the benefit of consistently being reminded that the often theoretical conversations of the academy do matter in congregations and would then learn to hold at bay those possible areas of inquiry which fail the “magnitude” test. Indeed, a student in practical theology who was currently serving in pastoral ministry might not be able to avoid constantly assessing their work based upon the real lives of people in her congregation. This paper argues that such a bi-vocational commitment would not only improve the work of the practical theologian, but would also have a greater impact on the church.
Embodied Theory-Practice Relationship: Chapel and Classroom
In the course of preparing students to preach, one addresses the issue of exegesis. Within that major undertaking, the teacher may want to highlight the movement from text to sermon that occurs in preaching on passages from the gospels. One particular approach here involves a choral image. The students are asked to imagine the passages of the Gospels, not as solos, but as hymns sung in four-part harmony. Thus, every passage will potentially include soprano, alto, tenor and bass lines: the soprano melody of the voice of the historical Jesus to the limited extent one may yet hear it; the profoundly significant alto voice of the early church which developed the notes sung well before their appearance in the canonical score; the tenor of the author, Matthew, Mark, Luke or John; and the ongoing basso profundo, the baritone line of interpretation of the passage, starting right in the Bible itself (for Mark, beginning with Matthew and Luke, for example; for John, beginning with 1 John, for example), and continuing on in some ways to yesterday and today and next Sunday when the sermon is finally preached. The gospels are sung in four-part harmony, as many congregations once regularly did sing hymns. The preacher will watch carefully to hear and overhear the various ‘parts’ within the fully harmonic beauty. To this point, standard instruction in homiletics can proceed without any interaction with the argument of this paper.
Suppose, however, that the teacher is also a preacher, who is responsible every Sunday for a sermon within the context (a highly particularized context) of a University Chapel, located not more than 100 yards east of the offices of practical theologians, the library stalls of graduate students, and the very classroom setting for learning and teaching about exegesis. On one hand, now, the stakes have been radically raised. Sunday arrives, and the text, Luke 4. Is there an exegetical chorus heard in the sermon? For those students who are seized by the confession of the church, and who have become a part of the addressable community in the University Chapel, an interpretive moment has arrived. And for the teacher, a moment of truth has come. Do the pods of church and school, ecclesia and academy stick to each other, in Osmer’s image, in ways that allow for transversal reason to engage both student and teacher? The worship service in question is a real, live service, with real living and dying humans. Real ammunition is in use. On any given Sunday the possibility stands that one student or one retiree may hear his or her last earthly benediction, that morning. The setting is not a contrived ‘preaching club’ quasi-service, nor even a seminary only mid-week devotion. The church has gathered and the hope still lives for something to hear and something to eat, through preaching meant to teach, to delight, and to persuade. Moreover, and quite visible to the eye of the worshipping homiletics student, there stands a person, now robed, who looks quite like the disheveled teacher she remembers from Tuesday’s homiletics lecture, which dealt with exegesis and the gospels.
We have here ‘a theory-practice relationship embodied within the vocation of a practical theologian who is working concurrently in the academy and in the pastorate.’ Furthermore, for teacher and student and congregation, the experience in worship of the sermon may therefore take on either a greater sense of risk or a greater possibility of benefit. If the sermon bears faithfulness to the teaching earlier in the week about the sermon, the student may benefit. Having offered some preliminary description and empirical observation of a weekly pattern actually found in at least one setting, we pause to provide some reflection upon and interpretation of the experience, the pattern. The preacher may on occasion refer, in passing, to the SATB critique of Luke 4 by saying, ‘as we teach our students across the plaza, passages like this in the gospels are like our own favorite Methodist hymns…’ In fact, the preacher may not be able to avoid saying something like this, given the inter-textuality, the inter-psychic connection in his own life between pulpit and lectern.
Conclusion and Appropriation
Throughout this essay, we have made a claim that pastoral experience and ministerial leadership, engaged alongside academic work, can benefit the research and teaching of the academic as well as the congregation being served. We began by describing the dichotomy between the academy and the faith community and have shown that, like the theory-practice relationship, the bridge between these two areas is personified in a practical theologian. We demonstrated that paradigm shifts, such as the one we are suggesting may be emerging, are both common and necessary in growing fields of inquiry. We have further suggested ways in which this is embodied, both from the point of view of a student of practical theology, and from that of a professor.
Let us now reflect on a few ways that this argument might be helpful.
First, the paper proposes a certain kind of academic reflection. Those teaching on the faculty of a school that prepares people for ministry may benefit from participating in a local congregation in some capacity. While it might not be feasible or fruitful to have an entire faculty serving as the minister of a congregation, it might be feasible to encourage participation in some capacity within congregational life, even if only as a participant in worship. As we have described above, this is as beneficial to the practical theologian as it is to the church.
Second, seminaries or schools of theology may choose to commit to maintaining a certain percentage of faculty who are serving in primary leadership roles in local congregations. This would be a clear means by which to break down the false dichotomy between the academy and faith communities. Additionally, it might also serve as an important bridge from the local congregation to the seminary for those who might be discerning a call to ministry.
Third, faith communities might consider supporting a “practical theologian in residence” who would serve the congregation in a unique way and be allowed to “test-drive” new constructive practices of education, spiritual formation, worship, or pastoral care. This might be done on a limited-time/rotating basis or with someone on a more permanent schedule. Either way, this would offer congregants opportunities to converse with those who find their homes in the academy while at the same time creating a lab for constructing better practices of faith. It may also have the unintended consequence of offsetting the budget of the seminaries in that part of the funding for these particular faculty members would be coming directly from a local congregation.

Ashton, John. Understanding the Fourth Gospel. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2007.
Bass, Diana Butler. Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transforming the Faith. New York: HarperOne, 2007.
Bass, Dorothy C., and Craig Dykstra, eds. For Life Abundant: Practical Theology, Theological Education, and Christian Ministry. Grand Rapids Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2008.
Bernstein, Richard J. Praxis and Action: Contemporary Philosophies of Human Activity. New ed. Philadelphia Pa.: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press, 1999.
Browning, Don S., ed. Religious Ethics and Pastoral Care. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983.
Carson, D.A. “The Challenge of Balkanization of Johannine Studies.” In John, Jesus, and History, Volume 1: Critical Appraisals of Critical Views, edited by Paul N. Anderson, Felix Just, and Tom Thatcher. First Edition. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2007.
Craddock, Fred B. As One Without Authority. Revised. St. Louis Mo.: Chalice Press, 2001.
Farley, Edward. Theologia: The Fragmentation and Unity of Theological Education. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1983.
———. “Theology and Practice Outside the Clerical Paradigm.” In Practical Theology, edited by Don Browning. 1st ed. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1983.
Foster, Charles, Lisa Dahill, Larry Goleman, and Barbara Wang Tolentino. Educating Clergy: Teaching Practices and Pastoral Imagination. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2005.
Hill, Robert Allan. Renewal: Thought, Word, and Deed. Lanham MD: Hamilton Books, 2009.
Lave, Jean, and Etienne Wenger. Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Long, Thomas G. Preaching from Memory to Hope. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009.
Miller-McLemore, B J. “The "Clerical Paradigm": A Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness?.” International Journal of Practical Theology 11, no. 1 (2006): 19-36.
Miller-McLemore, Bonnie J. “Practical Theology and Pedagogy: Embodying Theological Know-How.” In For Life Abundant: Practical Theology, Theological Education, and Christian Ministry, edited by Dorothy C. Bass and Craig Dykstra. Grand Rapids Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Pub., 2008.
Osmer, Richard. Practical Theology: An Introduction. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2008.
———. The Teaching Ministry of Congregations. 1st ed. Louisville Ky.: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005.
Stone, Bryan. “The University Based Divinity School in Relationship to Theological Education,” 2008. (Paper delivered to the Boston University School of Theology Faculty, autumn retreat, 9/08).

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Late Term Additions to Introduction to Preaching: Pastoral Imagination in Preaching, BUSTH Spring 2010, Robert Allan Hill

Late Term Additions to Introduction to Preaching: Pastoral Imagination in Preaching, BUSTH Spring 2010, Robert Allan Hill

TC 715: Introduction to Preaching (“Pastoral Imagination in Preaching”)
BEECHER LECTURE # 3 – Jean Halligan Vandergrift, TA Presenter

Text: Brueggemann, Walter. Finally Comes The Poet: Daring Speech for Proclamation.
Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1989.

I. Who is Walter Brueggemann?
Old Testament scholar and author. Ordained in the United Church of Christ. Professor emeritus at Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia. He is known for his exploration of Old Testament theology through rhetorical criticism, with an emphasis on the relation between the Old Testament and the Christian canonical works, and the dynamics of Jewish-Christian interactions. He is a prolific author, having written over 58 books.
He is also known for speaking about preaching. Mark Thiessen Nation quotes an unidentified, famous American preacher who said: “I would go so far as to say that if there is any one author every preacher should have in his or her library, it should be Walter Brueggemann. Any preacher who does not use Brueggemann as a companion in preparation of sermons is cheating himself or herself and their respective congregations.” According to R. Albert Mohler Jr., few biblical scholars have been chosen to present the Beecher Lectures. Walter Brueggemann was the lecturer in 1988/89.

II. What was happening in 1988/89? The context of these Beecher lectures.
A. In the world: U.S. support for the Nicaraguan Contras was on the wane. Desmond Tutu was arrested with 100 clergypersons during Anti-Apartheid demonstrations in Cape Town. Other Anti-Apartheid events. Jimmy Swaggert and Jim Baaker scandals. The Iran-Iraq War. Soviet Red Army begins withdrawal from Afghanistan. The Surgeon General announces the addictive qualities of nicotine. NASA resumes space shuttle, grounded after the Challenger disaster. Gorbachev named head of the Supreme Soviet. Chile votes “No” to Pinochet. Sega Megadrive released. George H.W. Bush elected. Benazir Bhutto elected as Prime Minister of Pakistan. Terrorists bombed Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Exxon Valdez oil spill. First GPS satellite placed into orbit. Time Warner merger. Tiananmen Square Protests in Beijing. Voyager 2 passes Neptune. Hurricane Hugo. East Germany opens checkpoints in the Berlin Wall for citizens to travel freely to West Germany. El Salvadorean death squad kills 6 Jesuit priests. Velvet Revolution in Prague. Operation Just Cause, U.S. troops into Panama to overthrow Noriega. Dictator Ceausescu of Romania executed.
B. In homiletics: In the early 70s, hermeneutics became open to encountering God in the literary dynamics of the biblical text over the reconstruction of the history behind the text. This led to rhetorical approaches to interpretation. Paul Ricoeur and others emphasized how language was dynamic and relative, not static, that language could perform and intend, which eventually led to valuing how the form of the text has a vital role in shaping the form and function of sermons. One way to sum this up is that there was a shift from a rational to an aesthetic hermeneutic, which affected homiletics. Another way to describe this “revolution” is that by the mid-80’s, it had three main concerns:
1. Rhetoric – particularly narrativity, imagery, embodiment, as well as original oral/aural setting
2) Imagination – juncture of human spirit and Holy Spirit, divine creativity channeled
3) Social analysis – influence of feminist and liberation theology, the social reality of the text and the contemporary world, sermon as a social act.
Brueggemann fits into all three aspects of this new approach to biblical scholarship and homiletics, and this is why he is sometimes referred to as a postmodern biblical scholar. (Wardlaw, Don M. “Homiletics and Preaching in North America.” Concise Encyclopedia of Preaching. Willimon & Lischer, eds. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995.)

III. His general thesis for these lectures
Preaching is experiencing a crisis of interpretation in which the biblical text is either dismissed or controlled. It must interpret, which involves exegesis and the realities of society. Societal ideologies tend to silence us all. (Preface) We argues that we exist in a “prose-flattened world.” “Prose” refers to a world organized in settled formulae. Other characteristics of this world are that believers take the gospel for granted, we are all influenced by technical thinking and utilitarian aims, and embrace managed, social ideologies that leave no room for newness. “Reduced speech leads to reduced lives.” (Introduction)
Therefore, preaching needs to be daring and poetic. This is the kind of counter speech that can shape new life. “Poetry” means language that moves and breaks open old worlds. Indeed, preaching is poetry: “the ready, steady, surprising proposal that the real world in which God invites us to live is not the one made available by the rulers of this age…a poetic construal of an alternative world.” The preacher needs to be a poet in this sense. The title, “Finally comes the poet,” is a line from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass:
After the seas are all crossed, (as they seem already cross’d)
After the great captains and engineers have accomplish’d their work,
After the noble inventors, after the scientists, the chemist, the geologist, ethnologist,
Finally shall come the poet worthy of that name,
The true son of God shall come singing his songs.
Also in his introduction, Brueggemann describes worship is a “speech meeting,” between four partners:
1. the text – though we have domesticated it, we want to remember it, and hope that there is a word for us today.
2. the baptized – come to be shaped by the text, which requires an artist to render it in fresh ways.
3. the specific occasion – all attention is on this speech/sermon moment.
4. the better world – the alternative way is revealed and by it truth and life are disclosed.

IV. The four lectures
Brueggemann’s lectures are each shaped by the frame of this thesis. He first describes the characteristics and longings of listeners in this prose-flattened world and then contrasts these characteristics to those that the biblical text projects for listeners, along with the way in which interpretation and preaching poetically leads the listener to that new place. I can’t take time to trace it here, but he does a great deal with scripture itself in these lectures. This is one of the strengths of this book.
A. First lecture
A prose-flattened world of numbness and ache concerns the “powerful reality of guilt,” (13) in which there seems to be only either strict retribution or soft grace. We truly yearn for healing. This only occurs when God enters into every bit of the process. So he offers a taxonomy of guilt from the old and new testaments. (18, 33) He argues that evangelicals must break out of a conservatism that makes God function mechanically and liberals must break out of believing we can do it on our own. (36) Preaching poetically, as with these taxonomies, should move this way: 1) that guilt is a reality, God is serious, reparations required, residue to be dealt with, 2) God’s pathos and gift of Self, and 3) social reparations and blood atonement. “The preaching conversation is the only meeting in town where these realities will be enacted.” (39)
B. Second lecture
A prose-flattened world of alienation and rage concerns the lost and longed for communion with God. (43) This takes two forms: 1) a “subjective consciousness” – that the only reality is us, which leads to anxious alienation, (45) and 2) “uncritical objectivism” – that the only reality is God, which leads to a deep rage. (46) And there is no real conversation between us and God. The hoped-for end is doxological communion. This requires that we see God as both Sovereign, though one that yields, and Suffering love, though one that demands much. (44) Preaching poetically, then, as with laments, leads listeners to this by: 1) speaking for the worshipper, breaking the silence by expressing his/her lament, protest, and pain, 2) speaking for God, by not remaining silent, but responding with “God’s intervention, rescue, and transformation.” (66), and 3) speaking for Israel/listener his/her praise, celebration, and doxology. This is a poetic conversation that lets life begin again. Indeed, the biblical text itself is “a long-standing conversation.” (76)
C. Third lecture
A prose-flattened world of restlessness and greed concerns having more than we need and yet being uneasy and wanting more. This state makes it hard for us to obey the commandments of Sabbath-keeping (participating in God’s rest) and not coveting (land tenure systems without economic exploitation). In fact, in this condition, we view obedience as only a personal virtue or a dreaded burden. (80) Listening to God becomes very difficult. (83) The aim, however, is a kind of obedience that provokes missional imagination, that is, an urgency to share, to yield, to die to self, to relinquish and embrace God’s will. Preaching poetically to this end is speaking the command by sparking an alternative imagination, which will motivate obedience (85), for “we are not changed by new rules,” (109) but to imagine our lives and our world differently (97), as God does, for “God does not practice greed toward us nor toward the world.” (106)
D. Fourth lecture
A prose-flattened world of conformity and autonomy concerns a reduction of our identity and a depersonalization, in which we are seduced into the false notions of self that we can succeed through conformity (exiles) or, if we are in power (Nebuchanezzar), that it is really ours. We seek true freedom. To experience this, preaching poetically will interpret texts like Daniel, who resolved to practice his faith and dare resistance to the Empire. In his nonconformity to the system, he became truly free. Nebuchanezzar also experienced transformation when he acknowledged the surprising dream, asked Daniel’s interpretation, yielded to God’s sovereignty, and practiced doxology. Both characters opted for an alternative way in the world. (139) This is a “story designed to break the system.” (140) Such preaching will speak new possibilities to both Daniels and Nebuchanezzars who listen, resist and relinquish, producing faithful, free selves. (112)

V. His conclusion
There are many pressures to quiet the text, to silence it, but the way that people begin again is by being “speeched” (not “scripted”). “We have only the word, but the word will do.” (142)

VI. Is there a question of clarification?

VII. Two questions for group reflection
A. Do you think that we are still in a prose-flattened world? If so, how? If not, why not?
B. What difference does thinking of yourself as a preacher/poet make in your goals and aspirations for your preaching?

Potential critiques of Brueggemann’s text:

1. How does one write a prose sermon manuscript poetically? These lectures are more about hermeneutics than they are about crafting poetic sermons. He gives no sermon examples.

2. This text locates preaching in congregations and assumes that the listeners are the baptized. Why don’t we and where do we speak to the unbaptized?

3. This text seems to view the listeners of sermons as discreet individual selves over communities or a body. What of collective consciousness (Buttrick)?

4. When Brueggemann is speaking of a prose-flattened world in which there is an organized, settled formula, believers who take the gospel for granted, etc., isn’t he speaking to the white western world? Does his approach adequately address or incorporate African American culture and experience?

When God Is Silent by Barbara Brown Taylor
Barbara Brown Taylor
- Born in 1951. Teaching religion at Piedmont College, GA and an adjunct professor of spirituality at Columbia Theological Seminary, GA. Episcopal priest. When God Is Silent was her Lyman Beecher Lecture delivered in 1997, originally titled, “Famine in the Land: Homiletical Restraint and the Silence of God.”
Chapter #1: Famine
- Taylor believes that there have been three kinds of assault on our word that lead to discrepancy between the word and the world: Consumerism, Journalism, and Proliferation of words/Democratization of Words.
- Church is not exception from such separation. i.e) The sign at the lawn of chruch that says, “Our doors and hearts are open to everyone.” Do they really mean it or should it be changed to “We do the best we can.”
- We are currently living in a land of famine, famine of word. Did Amos predict such famine in his time? (Amos 8:11-12)
- The words that preachers speak at the pulpit may be compared with an overchewed gum that has lost livelenss in it.
Chapter #2: Silence
- What would silence mean? Tranquility, awe, manfunction, or death.
- In The Disappearance of God, Richard Elliot Friedman argues that God gradually retreated from God’s people. The last person to whom God revealed Godself was Samuel in the temple at Shiloh.
- Silene of God is present everywhere in the Bible: Abraham’ sacrificing of Isaac (Genesis 22:2), Job, and Jesus.
- What do discern about God’s silence to God’s peoplpe? Taylors argues, “Only an idol always answers. But the God who keeps silence, even when God’s own flesh and blood is begging for a word is the God beyond anyone’s control.” (80)
Chapter #3: Restraint
- “So, how does one preach without profaning God’s silence, without getting between that silence and those for whom it is intended?” (99)
- Taylor suggests three tips as follows;
- 1. Economy: choosing the fewest, best words that will allow them to find one another and then to get out of the way. Saying only what we know to be true, to say it from the heart, and to sit down.
- 2. Courtesy: respecting the autonomy of the hearer, his/her ability to make meaning without too much supervision. Jesus used stories and images to leave room for his listeners to take part in the makingof their meanings.
- 3. Reverance: rather than compensating by talking more, we do our best but acknolwedging our limits in doing it. Divine silence is not a vacuum to be filled but a mystery to be entered into, unarmed with words and undistracted by noise.

Introduction to Preaching: Final Exam
Please Choose Three Essays From This List
The Exam is Meant to Last about 90 minutes (30 minutes per question)
You May Stay Though Until 4:30pm
Boston University School of Theology
Robert Allan Hill
April 26, 2010

1. Describe and explain your own current understanding of the authority of Scripture, as it impacts and influences your own preaching.
2. Reflect on the preparatory practice of exegesis. What have you learned and appropriated in this course? What are your own areas of strength and weakness?
3. Write your own creed, your own brief affirmation of faith.
4. Analyze and criticize the work on ‘moves and structures’ in our Buttrick text.
5. How would you define your call to preach or to pulpit ministry?
6. Identify and reflect upon two sermons you have heard this year (class, subgroup, chapel, tape, other) that you remember fairly clearly. What made them stand out for you?
7. We have emphasized excellence in preaching with attention to pastoral imagination. How do you understand pastoral imagination in preaching?
8. One major point of annual reflection on preaching is found in Yale’s Lyman Beecher lectures. What aspects of these lectures, as summarized in class, have stayed with you, challenged you, or found influences in your preaching?
9. Another aspect of preaching we have explored has been through our guests (Miles, Schol, Weaver, Fisher). Can you identify three or four highlights from these which have provided important insights for you?
10. The arts of listening and receiving feedback deserve and require lifelong attention. How have your practices grown this term in these areas?
11. Describe your preaching ministry as it will (by the mind’s eye and imagination) be in April 2030.
What in the work of crafting a sermon did you find most difficult and most rewarding

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lecture Notes: Introduction to Preaching. Second Post.

Lecture Notes: Introduction to Preaching

1/25/10 Robert Allan Hill

Pastoral Imagination: “I’m Feeling Some Mixed Up Feelings Today”

Basic Recipe for a Sermon
1. What do the Greek\Hebrew text, commentaries, translations, parallels offer?
2. How did ‘the Fathers’ read the text or handle the theme?
3. What do Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Barth, and Tillich do with the text or theme?
4. What does your favorite journal offer (Christian Century, NTS, Interpretation)?
5. What recent pastoral conversations come easily to mind?
1. What is the whole gospel for this sermon (‘daimond point’) in a sentence?
2. What three part division will be used (abc, a1b1c1, e/e/e, s.s.s., verses, moments)?
3. What practical suggestions has the sermon for personal life?
4. What references has the sermon to social life?
5. At what points does the sermon use appropriate humor?
6. What can children understand in the sermon?
7. Is the mortality of the preacher and congregation clear?
8. Is the gospel preached, clearly and forcefully?
9. Do you believe what you are about to say?
1. Is the sermon written, rewritten, memorized and practiced?
2. Are silence, dynamics, singing, emotion, body language considered?
3. Is it under twenty minutes?


Pastoral Imagination: Exegetical Primer (RAH)

Exegetical Primer
(An expansion of Research, #1: Basic Recipe for a Sermon)
RAH: 2010

1. Read slowly and carefully through the passage(s), in translation(s) or original.

2. Think about what exegesis is: explanation, interpretation, clarification, exposition.

3. Consider the ongoing development of your own view of Scriptural authority.

4. Caution: this task calls for a disciplined inquiry into the meaning of the text; a casual, haphazard, or perfunctory method inadequate.

5. Listen with your whole mind, your whole person.

6. Employ some literary criticism (text, source, unit, structure).

7. Accentuate form criticism (original setting and function).

8. Give space for tradition, canon, and redaction.

9. Keep RAH ‘chorus’ (SATB) in mind.

10. Develop the Pastoral Imagination (journal, group, other).

11. Ask the deeper theological question(s). What is at stake here?

12. Make friends with analogy. ‘There are frequently analogous relationships between the situation depicted in the Bible and our own’ (G Landes). But, ‘all analogies limp’ (P Berger).

13. Can you enter into the mind, heart, center out of which the ancient author wrote?

14. Develop your libraries, virtual and actual.

15. Pray, throughout, pray, throughout. Pray without ceasing.

2/8/10 Robert Allan Hill

Pastoral Imagination: ‘Kyrie Eleison’

Tools in the Preacher’s Workshop: Buttrick Summary Lecture

Intro: Design. Lost art. G Davis. Design for Preaching. F Craddock. Induction/Narration. BTW: theological reflection\journal. How do you use ‘God’? A
Macleod never does. Presence in absence (Easter). Key: 320, 321. Note ambivalence about three part thought. Importance of brief summary.

1. Structural Modes: (Picasso. I understand Picasso. Picasso makes me paint).
A. Immediacy. Text. Parable. Experiential analogies. For example: ‘Jesus meets us today…’ Suited to narrative passages (eg gospels). Easter and Christmas. 323. Ex: WSCoffin, Jonah.
B. Reflection. Thought. Meaning today. 325. Hold up the mirror. Teaching passages (Paul, SOTM, wisdom). Apocalyptic? (RAH says no) 482).
C. Praxis. Application\Crisis. Ex. Brown Sail. A situation in the congregation. May not be resolved\resolvable. Multiple Lectionaries (liturgy, nation, denomination, congregation). 443. After this 333-445 are all outworkings of these.
2. Hermeneutical Proposals:
A. Community. Developing a communal consciousness. (RAH, NYState; RAH, Commonwealth Avenue). Form criticism, the situation in life of the original hearers. 277. To the Thessalonians…264, meant and means and language. 276. Situation, author. The faith community.
B. Duality: simul Justus et peccator. 278.
C. Interpretation of symbols: in the wilderness, prepare…41: ‘preachers do not explicate teachings, they explore symbols’
3. Moves or Points or Parts: pages 30-33 MOST HELPFUL AND IMPORTANT PART OF THE BOOK
A. Theological Understanding
B. Opposition (how can some of you say…?)
C. Real Experience
(RM Brown; Father\Parent; Love\Justice\Mercy; Ordinary Grace)
4. Images (ways of speaking)
A. Analogy: … like… structures of human consciousness; arise rationally out of self-awareness…117
B. Denial: …not like …via negative…Dionysius…silence…10 commandments…
C. Metaphor\simile\image: Tiger, like a tiger, has the ferocity of a tiger. Or nurse, gentle as a nurse, Ottawa…two keys: bath and meal
5. Some Warnings and Cautions:
A. Be aware of your own point of view
B. Be aware of transitions (RAH critique)
C. Starting and stopping (Bernanos, love, 2/7/10)
D. Not teachings but symbols 41
E. No personal illustrations 142 (Have you ever? I am told…)
F. No to sarcasm 146
G. No to sexist illustrations 168
H. No to easy translation 181
I. No to theological technical language 187 (teleological suspension of the ethical)…’getting over seminary’ (5 years and 10 years)… prize the ‘sophisticated simple’
J. No to lack of structure 305 (lecture on design)
6. Advisements about Style: use Strunk and White, ELEMENTS, EB White and R Angell in Boston University
A. Be concrete: Our Town
B. Limit adjectives: omit needless words 218
C. Use pronouns
D. Present tense, active voice, short sentences: I have a dream (not a really good idea…) So: poetry: TAKE A POEM HERE. 220.
E. Hill adds: make it your own voice (journal)
7. Rhetorical Forms
A. Bringing out: depiction, analogy, metaphor, explanation, analysis, creed
B. Associating: imagery, illustration, example, testimony
C. Disassociating: dialectic, antithesis, opposition, mockery
8. Rhetorical Orientations: One example, page 392. 4/19/10, 10:30am Hills’
A. Spatial
B. Temporal
C. Personal (stream…), again, 2/7/10
D. Social (logical, argument, question)

Guest Lecture Notes, Introduction to Preaching, Spring 2010, BUSTH

2/1/10 Dr Veronice Miles

1. Preachers are faithful people called to Christian Faith.

Tom Long, Gardner Taylor, Barbara B Taylor. Those who preach need to hear the message themselves, ourselves. (Her story as a woman in the National Baptist church). We are inviting people to consider a possibility, to sense the transformation of the spirit, to engage in self-evaluation. The preacher is both a center and a periphery prophet, and a prophet in the community. We preach so that people can lead their best lives. We affirm goodness, not just what feels good. “Sometimes the good news is in the transition we need to make”. Moses, Esther, Samuel, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Mary, Women at Tomb, Paul, Amos, Jonah. ‘Can you talk about a character with whom you can identify’?

2. Preachers live within the tension of our unique expression of faith and our common vocational call.

We need to claim our lives for the soundscape of our existence. Voice is our mode of expression. We need to claim our voice. We need to avoid a fear that we might be great (Maryann Williamson). We need freedom: of expression, experience, perspective, to hear persons who struggle. Voice: distinctive, authentic, authoritative, resistant. We are always in it. Voice saves us from silence. Distinctiveness is recognized and valued. Preaching calls for courage, for attention to hearers, for voice in context. In manyh cases we overthink who we need to be for others. One who claims one’s own voice then has a capacity to dialogue with others. We need a balance of humility and boldness. By the grace of God we stand, speak, listen. The job of preaching is not to give simple answers, but to call people to a way of being in the world. The job of preaching is not merely to solve problems, but to transform ways of being. We embody practices.

3. Preachers are persons who are committed to the ongoing ministry of forming and sustaining persons in the Christian faith.

Barbara Lundblad. Water dripping on the stone. Consistent, persistent calling. What role do we play as spirit born preachers? We help people to imagine. Sowing seeds, dripping water, taking responsibility for others, praying for them, being aware of others. We are called to form, transform, sustain, confront, and encourage to inspire and propel others toward good works, to live worship-full lives. Read Marjorie Suckochi. Preaching is sacramental. It can become our mode of worship. What are you grappling with? Is there some word of the Lord? Begin where people are. There are many forms of ministry. Is there an illegitimate call? Preach an authentic word.

2/22/10 Two Lyman Beecher Lectures: Jackie Blue and Elizabeth Jones


Pastoral Imagination: Forms of Ministerial Imagination

Jackie Blue: Gardner Taylor

Sermon Assessment

Preacher: ________________________________________ Date: ____________

Keep in mind, sermons are very personal as they are a part of the preacher. Therefore, all comments and critiques are to be given with the utmost care and compassion.

Questions Yes No N/A
Sermon Content
Exegesis – was research evident?
Was there a cultural perspective?
Was the text used appropriately?
Was the purpose of the sermon clear?
Were illustrations and images used appropriately used?

Sermon Organization
Was the introduction clear and focused?
Did the introduction introduce the sermon?
Did the introduction facilitate the first move?
Body of sermon – were moves clear and sequential?
Is the text woven into the body of the sermon?
Was the conclusion clear?
Did it conclude the sermon?
Was the conclusion connected to the sermon?
Was the conclusion predictable?
Was the conclusion tagged on?

Sermon Delivery
Was the preacher authentic?
Was s/he believable?
Does s/he own the pulpit space?

Was there good use of varied volumes?
Did s/he articulate clearly?
Was breathing controlled?
Was there a good use of gestures?
Was eye contact consistent?

Please complete the following:

The main point of the sermon was: ______________________________________________________________________________

The part of the sermon I appreciated most was:

I wish the preacher had said more about:

The Lyman Beecher Lectureship on Preaching
Yale Divinity School
New Haven, Connecticut
The Lyman Beecher Lectureship on Preaching at Yale Divinity School was established April 12, 1871 by a gift of ten thousand dollars from Henry W. Sage, esq. in memory of Lyman Beecher (1775-1863), a member of the Yale College class of 1797. Beecher was a Presbyterian and Congregationalist minister who held pastorates in East Hampton, Long Island, New York, Litchfield, Connecticut, and Boston, Massachusetts. He was also the first President of Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Henry W. Sage, the donor of funds for the establishment of the lectureship, was a member of Plymouth Congregational Church of Brooklyn, N.Y., where Henry Ward Beecher, son of Lyman Beecher, was pastor for forty years. Sage was a prosperous businessman and one of the chief benefactors of Cornell University, where he served on the Board of Trustees.
In accordance with the wishes of Mr. Sage, his gift to Yale was devoted by the Yale Corporation to the establishment of a foundation to be designated as, "The Lyman Beecher Lectureship on Preaching" to be filled from time to time, upon appointment of the Corporation, by a minister of the Gospel, of any evangelical denomination who has been markedly successful in the special work of the Christian ministry. With the authorization of the donor, the Corporation voted in May, 1882, "that henceforth the Lyman Beecher lecturer shall be invited to lecture on a branch of pastoral theology or in any other topic appropriate to the work of the Christian ministry." In December 1893, the donor authorized the Corporation, "if at any time they should deem it desirable to do so, to appoint a layman instead of a minister to deliver the course of lectures on the Lyman Beecher Foundation."

Facilitator Notes
“How Shall They Preach”
Gardner C. Taylor

• What I have set down in the following pages is largely a transcript from these nearly forty years I have known of going in and out of pulpits in almost every nook and cranny of the world, but most particularly that of The Concord Baptist Church of Christ (13)

• Lecture 1 - Recognizing and removing the presumptuousness of preaching
o As much as men are able to appropriate the divine mind, the humblest lay person has the same access as the man or woman whose vocation is the preacher (24)
• The preacher does not enjoy right to any esoteric knowledge of God denied to those to whom one preaches (25)
o There have, of course, been pretensions aplenty on the part of the clergy that they are of a higher moral breed, but these claims do not pass muster (25)
o There will be people in almost any congregation who by the purity of their lives and quality of their discipleship will put those who preach to them to shame (25)
o Honest confession will force most of us who preach to join Paul and Barnabas when they spoke at Lystra, say “We also are men of like passions with you” (25)
o The magnificent anomaly of preaching is to be found in the fact that the person who preaches in the need himself of herself of the message which the preacher believes he or she is ordained to utter (27)
• It ain’t my brother and it ain’t my sister, but it’s me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer (27)
o The principal presumptuous, or as my old Colgate-Rochester colleague, Gene Bartlett, put it, the “audacity of preaching,” is found in the awareness that the person who preaches is, himself, part of the guilt and need to which he speaks (28)
• What a word we have to carry, but how compromised is the messenger?
• The person who preachers is as guilty of the wrongs against God against which he inveighs as are those to whom he or she addresses his or her words (29)
• God help the preacher who is so self-hypnotized that the full brunt of this shame does not fall like an awful weight upon him, loading what he says with becoming humility and hush of the soul that he, of all people, should be sent to say such things about what is wrong with people before God (29)
o For what is wrong with the hearers is the same that is wrong with the preacher (29)
o All of us are tempted to vanity, particularly if some success has attended our ministry of if we have in fact, something more than modest gifts as a preacher (32)
• We who preach are sinners as repulsive and course and faulted as those before whom we stand and to whom we bear the gracious, but tough ultimatum of a sovereign whose judgment is His mercy and whose mercy is His judgment. (32)
o We who preach are part of the whole human undertaking (34)
o A person’s preaching is infinitely sweetened as he enters, actually or vicariously, into the plight and circumstances of human hope and heartbreak (34)
• It was not empty rhetoric but a part of the basic formula for his enduring immortality as a preacher which made Paul cry, “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.” (35)

• Lecture 2 – The Foolishness of Preaching
o What am I doing? What is this all about? (42)
• There may be a gnawing uncertainty about the value and worth of preaching which will doubtless affect all of us from time to time.
• At its lowest elevations, it seems many times to be a dull and unexciting rehashing of old matters. At its impassioned heights, it seems to approach a vulgarity of intensity and a making public of sentiments and experiences which if they have happened at all seem altogether too private, and precious, to be paraded before a crowd of strangers. (42)
• I confess that preaching has often seemed to me such a clumsy and unclear form of communication. (42)
• How strange of God to make the uttered word, so fragile and so tenuous, the principal carrier of so precious a cargo as the incalculable love which he has intemporated and incarnated in Jesus Christ our Lord. (44)
• God might have found so many other ways to spread the Gospel of the love of God. He might have written His love on the leaves of the trees and blowing winds would have sent news of the deliverance and redemption far and wide. God might have written His love in the skies and in the rising sun so that men looking upward could have read the message, ‘God so loved the world.’ He might have made the ocean sing His love and nightingales to chant it. Neither of these, not even angels, could ever preach and say, however, “I’ve been redeemed.’ (45)
o So this is a Gospel for sinners saved by Grace and only saved sinners can preach. (45)
• Those who preach deal with a word, which seems weak in comparison with other words. (46)
o He or she is heard by comparatively few people, many of whom seem to give scant attention to what is being said. The preacher deals in “spiritual” words, which have no power and force, so we think. (46)
o We may discover, and the preacher ought never forget, that the words he uses and the ideas and emotions they represent are the most powerful forces on earth. (46)
• Dare anyone who feels the pressure to preach conclude that he or she has a puny, inadequate Gospel? (50)
o Standing in the grand lineage of our holy faith, the preacher ought not dare to utter the things of Christ too hesitantly or casually or tentatively. (50)
o The power and pathos of the preacher are to be found not in volume of voice nor those patently contrived tremors of tone preachers sometimes affect, but in passionate avowals which are passionate because they have gotten out of the written word into the preacher’s own heart, have been filtered and colored by the preacher’s own experiences of joy and sorrow, and then are present to and pressed upon the hearts and minds of those who hear. (51)

• Lecture 3 – Building a Sermon
o From where do sermons come? There are perhaps few preachers who have not pondered this question, sometimes in quiet reflection and sometimes in desperate anguish when the vision tarries and Sunday morning does not. (57)
o The heart of the preacher’s dilemma is how to trust God wholly and at the same time to prepare diligently. (57)
o Most of us discover that sermons are born of a mysterious romance between preparation and inspiration (58)
• Dr. Paul Scherer used to say that inspiration is 10 percent genius and 90 percent firm application of the seat of the pants to the chair. (58)
• Let every person who would preach be well aware that whatever even approaches acceptable pulpit work on any sustained basis will never come without effort and even anguish. (58)
• The faithful preacher, willing to pay the price in study, prayer and that meditation which is a “sitting silent before God,” will find rich reward for his pulpit work. (59)
o Sermons come in many ways (59)
• They come by study of the bible (59)
• Sermons are everywhere, for the critical encounter between God and his creation, human kind, is forever occurring world without end. (61)
• So, one who preaches may confidently look everywhere for sermons, not snooping, mind you, nor in panic casting about desperately on Saturday for something to preach about the next morning. (62)
• Ponder the mystery and majesty of the seasons in order to give color and contrast to our sermons, but even more so that your own spirit might appropriate the brown wistfulness of autumn, the leaping green joy of spring, the heat and stillness of summer, and the white death of winter. (63)
• Any preacher greatly deprives himself or herself who does not study the recognized masters of the pulpit discourse, not to copy them but rather to see what has been the way in which they approached the Scriptures, their feel for men’s hearts. (64)
o Harry Emerson Fosdick, Frederick Robertson, Arthur Gossip, Joseph Fort Newton, John Jasper, C.T. Walker, L.K. Williams, William Holmes Borders, J.H. Jackson, Sandy F. Ray, J.C. Austin, John Jowett, Alexander McClaren, George Buttrick, F.W. Boreham, and Paul Scherer. (64)
o One who preaches must come to know the doubts and hopes, the longings and fears, the strengths and weaknesses of the human heart. He arrives at this awareness, first, I think by seeking, not morbidly, to plumb the depths of his own being. (65)
• So the preacher must be willing to look deeply and honestly into himself, for in those depths, touched by the light and flame of the Gospel, will much of one’s preaching find birth and life. (67)

• Lecture 4 – Preaching the Whole Counsel of God
o How we approach the preaching responsibility depends upon whether we consider proclamation of the Gospel to be a matter of life or death. (77)
o The whole sweep of Biblical revelation asserts that the spokesperson for God stand in a grandly perilous post of responsibility. (78)
• The Word of the Lord is presented as addressing Ezekiel about the cruciality of the prophet’s calling as an interpreter of God to men. (78)
• The prophet’s (watchman) job is to:
o Scan the hills and to peer toward the valleys
o Agree to till the fields to draw water and all of that
o Be faithful in what he or she does
o Is freed from regular occupational responsibilities
o Has no right to claim indifference or indolence or sleepiness, for he or she is spared many of the irksome annoyances of the work-a-day world.
o Sounds an alarm in the event of danger
• The person called of God to preach is summoned to look at humanity under the light of God (81)
o The preacher, coming at the fearful, destructive sins of our society, surely must speak to them with a diving pity which weeps, so to speak, at the same time in which it challenges the community’s delinquencies and derelictions. (83)
o Thus, every preacher ought never to forget in his preaching that one preaches to people who are initially and finally solitary animals with their own fears and courage, guilt and grief, joy and sorrow, anxiety and anger and with that deep age-old hunger which the bread of this world cannot satisfy and a thirst which the waters of this life cannot quench. (89)
• How shall the preacher know how to deal with these matters? (91)
o One of the great, sustaining strengths of the preacher is to be found in the fact that he or she is part of the human condition, seeing and experiencing ecstatic joys and knowing the cold chill of the follows of sorrow. (91)
o The preacher who hears the sound of angels’ wings and who sits where the people sit is gifted to preach to men in the heights and depths of their being. (92)
• We are surrogates of a Gospel which has explored the secret places of the human heart, which has sounded the depths of the human predicament. (92)
We are bearers of an incredibly rich Gospel which imparts unspeakable treasures of the spirit to those who

3/1/10 Bishop Peter Weaver:

Preaching is one beggar telling another where they can both find bread.

In 95% of the churches, the NUMBER ONE, first listed requirement for ministry is: PREACHING. ‘If it doesn’t happen in worship, it doesn’t happen’. So, preaching deserves and requires preparation excellence. This is the highest impact moment of anything you do. Do not press the button a computer and expect it to deliver. J Wesley: “Give me 100 preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God and they will shake the gates of hell.” Ordained to word, sacrament, order ‘so long as his spirit and his practice are such that become the gospel’.

Preaching is both BEING AND DOING.

BEING: 1. The preacher is called to be an authentic human being. Be who you are. You are a creature before you are a preacher. One 3 year old called the pastor ‘creature’ because he could not pronounce preacher. This is the mystery of the incarnation. Read F Beuchner, Telling the Truth: The gospel as tragedy, comedy, and fairy tale. The preacher deals out his note cards like a river boat gambler…We are not magicians. We are called to be human, and to be human is task enough for anyone. 2. We are called to be passionate followers of Jesus Christ. Preach what you know and live. 3. You are called to bring a compassionate listening heart into the community and world. I cannot preach until or unless I have been to the hospital, the home, the hurting in visitation.

DOING: 1. Do the theology. Read Charles Rice, Interpretation and Imagination. Take seriously what he calls the historico-ontological method. 2. Do the sociology. Read Fred Craddock, Preaching. Focus on the language of the first 7 years of life, wherein we receive our fundamental self-understanding. The mind is like an art gallery. Explore the deep places, kerygma, poetry. Avoid using theological terms. Know the powerful images for your community (Pittsburgh: the river). You’ve got to listen to the stories of those around you. 3. Do the missiology. Preaching is a part of the mission of God into the world (story of street people in Pittsburgh church).

Phillips Brooks: preaching is communication of truth through personality. Jesus did not just minister to the people in the synagogue. The art of preaching is an oral event, not an exercise in literature. See Amos Wilder, Early Christian Rhetoric. Preaching connects to hearts. Proclamation, teaching, experience, both inductive and deductive. The primitive church moved from experience, to oral tradition to the written word; the preacher moves from the written word, to the oral tradition, to experience.

Distributed: Folded 8 ½ x 11 sheet, four fold, as weekly pocket worksheet: Top: Lessons, and ‘What’s the Point?”; then: biblical/theological; personal/pastoral; literature/media; outline.

3/15/10 Bishop John Schol:

Faith without works is dead. Preaching comes out of who we are. Preaching keeps me awake at night, which shows how important it is. Good preachers are always a little on the edge. When was the last time you experienced God in church? (75% say not in the last year). What is the best sermon you have heard? Who is the best preacher you have heard? Good sermons give a sense of intimacy. Joe Williamson (BUSTH) used to liken the preacher to the court jester, who reminds the court and king of who they are.

You should be open to the moment, but also prepared to communicate well. The earlier questions (above) are out of an older paradigm. People who did not grow up in church don’t have history with sermons, so they comment on the ‘talk’ or ‘message’ or ‘experience’.

There are three types of people: thinkers, feelers, doers; head, hands, heart; information, inspiration, application. Application today is less emphasized than it should be. Part of preaching is knowing, exegeting, your audience. Do good exegetical work on the congregation! A sermon is really part of a long collection of sermons over the years. Begin your ministry by honoring what has come before. In the itinerancy you have no time to waste. Like sex, it is not about a moment but about a relationship. In BWAC, they appoint for a minimum of 7 years. Things take time.

Also, you need to exegete your community.

What people in the UMC want in the preaching is authenticity (sermon matches life of preacher) and transparency (that’s my story too). The medium becomes the message. Some images will work in one setting but not in another: the contexts are different.

Preaching changes depending on the type of congregation. There are four main types. The Family church (50 in worship, conversational preaching, informal organization, chaplaincy). The Pastor Centered church (140 in worship, stressful for pastor, much clergy burn out. The Program church (150+ in worship, members attached to ministries not clergy, staffing issues are the central problems. The Corporate church (400+ in worship, multiples of multiples, diversity of worship styles, varieties of offerings, the minister casts the congregational vision, sermon by sermon). The first two can achieve ‘congruent’ growth. The second two can achieve ‘transformative’ growth.

3/22/10 Pastoral Imagination: A Call At Midnight

Buttrick Summaries By Teaching Assistants:

TBA: #1, E Jones

TC 715: Introduction to Preaching (“Pastoral Imagination in Preaching”)
SUMMARY # 2 – Jean Halligan Vandergrift, TA Presenter

Text: Buttrick, David. Homiletic: Moves and Structures. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987.
Goal of Text: to understand what may actually take place in consciousness during the production and hearing of sermons (Preface)
He claims that public address forms “faith consciousness.” (26)

Note: The outline below is intended to support the facilitation of class review. By no means does it substitute for your own reading, careful study, and interpretation of the text.

PART I: Moves
III. Framework (83-112)
A. Introductions
1. The introduction’s purpose is to introduce a particular sermon and it can be
designed only after one has almost completed the full sermon scenario. (83)
2. It a) gives focus to consciousness and b) provides hermeneutical orientation to
the listeners – readies them to listen in a certain way. It sets up a congregation
so that the first sermon move can start. (83)

Move into sermon without abrupt discontinuity (85) yet clearly distinguished from move one. (87) Give away the structure of the sermon ahead of time. (85)
Make the intro only 7-12 sentences in length. (86) Be too short. (86)
Establish “a shared consciousness” without undo labor or length. Intro is different than friendly banter. (86) Use dialogue unless it is one, brief conversational exchange. (89)
Make the first 2 or 3 sentences short, simple, without too much content. (86-87) Build into the intro movement of thought or argument. (89)
Construct the last sentence so that it stops action, a firm period. (87) Put in too much introduction to literary references. (92)
Use visual material. (89) Use step-down intros. (92)
Refer to the scripture passage of the sermon. (90) Use tangential intrusions. (93)
Feature material familiar to the congregation, realizing that the gospel means that they aren’t only interested in themselves and that they can imagine. (91-92) Use oblique suspense. (94)
Be disciplined and focused in language. (93) Use personal narrative. (94)
Write out the intro and memorize it. (95) Try to make trivial “funnies.” (95)

B. Conclusions
1. What do they do?
a) They fulfill the intention of the sermon (The sermon is “performative
language (98);” it intends to do something, but what? Is this sermon for
conversion, amendment of life, summary of the lesson, emotion, bridge to the
sacrament or ? (97) The intention of the scripture might be the intention of the
sermon. (100) It is good to vary the intention of the sermon. (100).
b) They conclude the sermon and fix consciousness (97) so that the effects of
the gospel will continue (101).

Make it brief, no less than 5, no more than 8 sentences. (97) Introduce new ideas, content, and material. (97)
Sketch the conclusion with care. (98) Be too brief or too long. (98)
Gather up images and/or phrases. (102) Use phrases like “finally” or “in conclusion.” (101)
Use a logical-outcome conclusion. (102) Start the conclusion the same way every week. (101)
Make the last sentence short and clear. (102) Use didactic “ordered repetition”/redundancy. (101)
Repeat or echo the key message. (103) End the sermon with a question. (103)
Be concrete over abstract, but not too particular. (106) “Gospel does not grown in a climate of fear.” (107) Speak in love. (107) End with quotation, illustration, or poetry. (104)
Use simple, direct language. (107) Return to an introduction, though sometimes useful. (105)
Sketch the conclusion ahead of time. (109) End for emotional impact with rhythmic intensification. (105)
End with personal testimony. (106)

Summary #3: Jackie Blue
Central focus of the reading: Because sermons “bring into view” unseen reality, they will of necessity, dabble in metaphor, image, illustration, and all kinds of depiction. After all, preaching is preoccupied with Christ who comes to us as story, and as a living symbol; thus preaching is bound to tell stories and explore images. Inescapably, preaching is a work of metaphor. (113)
1. Language of Analogy
a. Preaching reaches for metaphorical language because God is a mysterious Presence-in-Absence. God is not an object in view. (116)
b. God-talk is related to structures of human consciousness. Consciousness is remarkably agile (if predictable). In consciousness, we are free to leap about in time and space, to view ourselves and overview our deep-pool souls, to perform magic tricks of imagination. (116)
c. God analogies also arise relationally out of our self-awareness (117)
d. In addition to relational imagery, there are models that seem to emerge in connection with our narrative consciousness. (118)
e. The use of analogical language – metaphor, simile, image, and the like – is inevitable, and obviously, desirable in preaching. God is a mysterious Presence-in-Absence, and may not be spoken of in matter-of-fact “table-and chairs” language. (119)
f. Preaching is much too important to be top-of-the-mind, spilled-out verbiage, shaped by immediate associations of a minister’s consciousness. We must consider our analogical language. (119)
g. Throughout the Christian centuries, there have been other languages used along with the language of analogy – the language of amplification and the dialectical language of denial. (119)
2. Examples and illustrations serve to increase understanding or bolster credence; they explain the obscure or convince the dubious. Such a view is too simple. (127)
a. Examples highlight the common consciousness of a congregation while illustrations are imports brought to the sermon by the preacher. (128)
i. Examples used in sermons will tend to be either “moments of consciousness” or very simple narratives. To clarify: By “moments of consciousness”, we mean examples of how things may strike us, of our attitudes, of our self-awareness, of our world, and so on. By narratives, we mean brief plots of how we act or what may happen to us in our daily lives. Either type of example will require discipline. (131)
b. Illustrations can be varied – brief quotes, described scenes, episodes involving action, pictures, stories, bits of dialogues, and the like. (133)

Summary #4: Bob Jon

Buttrick’s Homiletic: Language (p.173-221)

11. Language
We are Homo loquens
1) We do within language; 2)We relate within language; 3) We think within language.

The Communication Model
Basic Communication Model: Sender - Code - Receiver
- Problem: Words are more than arbitrary code. Words can express what is more than rational thoughts.

The Expressive Model
Two Primary Ways that language is presented: 1) joined to some depth of self; 2) linked with subjective intuition. (177)
- Problem: “It places too much burden on self and on religious affectations. Our Christian faith is both social and historical.” (179)

What is language for preaching?
“Ultimately, the language of preaching is language related to consciousness, concerned with bringing out and forming in.” (184)
The language of preaching - “a connotative language used with theological precision” (184, 193)

12. The Language of Preaching
The language of preaching is basically the common shared vocabulary of a congregation. (188) The act of preaching is to use the common words from our daily life in “the extraordinary service of the gospel, dancing the edge of mystery, reaching into depth.” (189)
Metaphor is not inauthentic. What is artificial is attempting to preach without metaphorical language. (192) - Visual Imagination

Choosing the language of preaching
1) Is the language theologically apt?
2) Does the language form in congregational consciousness?
3) Does the language serve the statement of a particular move?

Language and Public Dominations
- Sexism
- Anti-Semitism
- Racism
- And more?

13. Style and Preaching
Style as Doing
- In preaching, language is functional; it is trying to do certain things. (199)

Style and Point-of-View
- The question is not “Does it have good style?” but “How well does the language represent?” (201)

Style and the Objects of Consciousness
- When we speak of an “object” in consciousness, we are bound, at the same time, to express the effect of the object on us. (202)

Style and Content
- Again and again, in preaching, we will be called upon to match style and content expressively. (203)

Style and Move Development
The move must hold together in a unity of style, but, at the same time, may demand stylistic variety as different ideas are expressed. (204)

The Means of Style
1) The Sounds of Words
2) Cadenced Language and Rhythms of Speech - repetition, doublets, and triadic clauses.
3) Conversational Forms - exclamations, questions, and direct address, repetition and inversion, synecdoche, personification, and apostrophe.

Common Problems
Some Word Problems - avoid the followings,
1) “this, these, those, that, and it”
2) “very, really, indeed, actually”
3) delaying words or phrases usually used in academic paper
4) numbering
5) “thus, therefore.”

Some Syntactical Problems
Although doublets, triple words or clauses could create rhythmic cadences, they could easily disrupt consciousness in hearing.

Problem Expressions
Avoid slang phrases, religious clichés, or vogue words.

Some General Guidelines
1) Work on verbs with color and precision - be imaginative.
2) Be careful in using an adjective; it could “obscure structures of meaning and produce a language that is quite unnatural. (219)
3) Use pronouns instead saying, “People have”
4) Use present tense and active voice and simple, short sentences.
5) But consider using long sentences when necessary.

TBA: #5, E Jones

TC 715: Introduction to Preaching (“Pastoral Imagination in Preaching”)
SUMMARY # 6 – Jean Halligan Vandergrift, TA Presenter

Text: Buttrick, David. Homiletic: Moves and Structures. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987.
Goal of Text: to understand what may actually take place in consciousness during the production and hearing of sermons. (Preface) He claims that public address forms “faith consciousness.” (26)

PART II: Structures
VII. Hermeneutics (239-284)
A. Chapter 15 (239-250) “Preaching and Authority”
1. The question of this chapter is “How ought we to think about the authority of the scripture and the preacher?” He says that usually we think of authority as the power to command and/or the wisdom to consult. (239) Historically, we have attributed this kind of authority to the scriptures, but when we say that the bible is the Word of God, we are usually referring to its message – the good news, and we are assuming that the Holy Spirit has a role in its interpretation. (239) So the problem of authority is one of hermeneutics, that is, how to interpret the meaning of the text for now. (241) The bible is not a fixed truth. It is not the historical critical method that undercut its authority. All preachers demythologize scripture as a historical document. (241) It is a gift and it is normative because it is the remembering of the gospel. (248) The Hebrew scriptures are normative for Christians because Jesus was a Jew and this was his tradition and because the church may be viewed as a continuation of Israel. (248) Tradition of the being-saved community – liturgical and interpretative – is the hermeneutical context of the gospel message. (249)
2. Buttrick proposes that, instead of authority as power and wisdom, we ought to develop a new model of authority. (243-5) He uses the apostle Paul to get to this, that the authority, power, and wisdom of God is revealed in the foolishness of the cross. (1 Cor 1:10-30) So the locus of authority is not in the bible itself alone. Rather, we, as Christians and as the church, are located by God’s authority in the presence of Christ crucified as our salvation. (246) He argues that the better model of authority for us is to remember the gospel in relation to our awareness of being saved, that is, our faith consciousness (247), which is mediated by preaching.
3. Given this new understanding of authority, Buttrick defines preaching as mediation. (249-50) One could summarize that preaching is mediation of/articulation of faith consciousness through Christ crucified.

B. Chapter 16 (251-262) “The Place of Preaching”
1. The question that begins this chapter is “Where do preacher’s preach?” With preaching as mediation, Buttrick locates the preacher in between God and the people. (251)To preach about God is to speak of “Presence-in-Absence Mystery” or “a mysterious consciousness that is conscious of us.” (252) Buttrick argues that to preach to people acknowledges that they also are mysterious and living at the edge of mystery. (252-3) He reminds us that we ought not forget how to tremble. (253) Yet, this mystery, this God, wants to be known, so this is the origin of revelation. For Christians this revelation of God is through Jesus Christ, so preachers preach through Jesus Christ. (254) “We don’t just hand out Jesus.” (255) Preachers also address people through “a being-saved-community in the world” – the church. (255)
2. Asks: “What qualifies preachers to speak?” (255-7) They are not qualified to speak due to perfection; rather are worldly, finite, sinners. They must learn to objectify the worldly “isms. They should ponder the story of the church, look into mystery and symbols of revelation, be acquainted with Christ through scripture, practice “brooding thoughtfulness” and “special study,” and demonstrate “a disposition toward God and neighbor in faith”
3. Since preaching is mediation, it is an act of twofold interpretation, and must use “a double hermeneutic.” (258-62) This means that: a) preachers must study texts from the past – Jesus Christ in story and symbol – be concerned with the knowledge of God, and being saved, AND b) preachers must study situations in the present, be concerned with understanding ourselves, and being saved in the world. The place of preaching is in this kind of “homiletic consciousness.” (262) One could summarize that preaching intends toward Jesus Christ, story and symbol, and toward a being saved community in the world.

C. Chapter 17 (263-281) “Preaching as Hermeneutics”
1. This double hermeneutic poses certain problems:
a) the problem of how to ascertain the meaning of words from the past for today. (264) After presenting and then critiquing several responses to this problem: “Perennial Truth,” “Perennial Human Experience,” and “Perennial Faith or Church” (263-68), Buttrick argues that a better method is to locate a “theological field” delineated by the text, which allows for deeper reflection and different cases than just that in the original text. (268) Another perennial to explore may be human consciousness, which allows for change but is still a constant. This approach responds to the problem through a structure of consciousness rather than in the content of consciousness. (269)
b) the problem of a “new” meaning/scope of the text. It might have polyvalent meaning or mean more than what the original author intended. Intendings may be an aiming of and an aiming toward. (262, 274) But are they all valid?
c) the problem of “what” is interpreted. What are we seeking after in interpreting texts? He proposes that we are looking for a “hermeneutical consciousness intending.” The trick is to search for what is given. (276)
2. General guidelines for the interpretation of biblical texts:
a) biblical texts are addressed to communal consciousness, written to a faith community. Scripture doesn’t speak to individual consciousness. “What is the text saying to our faith-consciousness?” Not “to me.” (277)
b) The text addresses the “double consciousness of being saved in the world.” It is inappropriate to interpret the bible through a secular hermeneutic. Our own double mindedness of being in the world and being saved in the world can help us sort texts. (278)
c) The bible needs to be interpreted within the interaction of symbol and story, which both reveals and signals mystery. (279)
3. To avoid misinterpetation (279-281) we should be wary of our own baggage and predispositions, differentiate between world and being saved in the world, use critical methods, allow texts freedom to speak on their own terms, take delight in being saved, and as forgiven people, interpret bravely, and realize that audience feedback is less than helpful as a test of interpretation.
4. The test of interpretation: (281) a) Does it align the mysteries of being-in-the-world and those disclosed through revelation? b) Does it serve to define being saved in relationship to being in the world and vice versa? c) Does it invoke the Presence in Mystery through Jesus Christ in story and symbol, that is, lead to mediation?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pastoral Imagination in Preaching Course Outline

Pastoral Imagination in Preaching
Spring 2010
Robert Allan Hill
Monday 2-5pm, STH B 19

Purpose of the Course

The purpose of this course is to inspire students with a desire to preach well over the course of their ministries. In order to begin or to continue the full development of the preacher’s “voice”, attention is given to the theology of preaching, the place of preaching in the context of pastoral ministry and the pastoral imagination (with special attention given to various forms and features of ministry around the globe), the design of the sermon, sermon content, preparation and delivery of sermons, and, in addition, the capacity to evaluate, critically, the effectiveness of the sermon. In this 2010 Introduction to Preaching, the professor will coordinate the presentation of materials in lecture, guest speaking, video, TA presentation and other forms. Preaching is particularly crucial for the future health of our Northeastern churches, over the next two generations.

Course Requirements

1.Class attendance and active participation. 2. Chapel attendance. 3. Quizzes on reading content and one final exam. 4. Two sermons submitted in finished written form and preached in tutorial groups (22 minutes each). One, a three point\part sermon; the second, students’ choice. 5. Selection, presentation and description of a favorite poem (starting randomly on 2/1/10) 6. A willingness to learn how to acknowledge genuinely and nourish personally the preaching of others, in order homiletically to watch over one another in love. 7. Completion of all assigned reading.

Grade components: Final 15%; Sermons 70%; Other (attendance, participation, quizzes, poem, etc) 15%.

Text: Required

1. David Buttrick, Homiletic: Moves and Structures, (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1988).

Other Suggested Resources:
(Bookstore, Marsh Chapel, Amazon, and Library Reserve)
1. Robert A Hill, Snow Day: Reflections on the Practice of Ministry in the Northeast (Lanham: University Press, 2000).
2. Barbara Brown Taylor, The Preaching Life, (Boston: Cowley, 1993).
3. Robert A Hill, Renewal: Thought, Word, Deed. (Lanham: University Press, 2009).
4. Robert A Hill, Prophetic Protestant Preaching on America’s War in Iraq: Marsh Chapel (Lewiston: Edwin Mellen, 2010).
5. Robert A Hill, Seeing with the Heart: Meditations from Marsh Chapel, (San Diego: UR\Cognella, 2010).

Class Schedule and Reading Schedule

January 25: Course Introduction and Overview, ‘Voices for a New Day’,
Basic Outline

February 1: Veronice Miles Lecture; Buttrick (B)‘Words and Moves’, 5-82

February 8: The Two Point Sermon, Buttrick Card, ‘Two Kinds of Confidence’; B: ‘Framework’, 83-112

February 22: TA Lectures (2) (Lyman Beecher) B: Images,‘113-172’;

March 1: Peter Weaver Lecture; B: ‘Language’, 173-224;

March 3: Violet Fisher (Chapel, Lecture, Panel)

March 15: John Schol Lecture B: ‘Words in Church, Theology’, 225-238, 449-462

March 22: B: ‘Hermeneutics’, 239-284.

March 29: B: ‘Homiletics’ 285-332.

April 5: B: ‘Structures’, 333-390. Weddings and Funerals (TBA)

April 10*: TBD, optional workshop on Youth Culture and Preaching, S Cady

April 12: B: ‘Structures’, 391-448 TA Lectures (2) (Lyman Beecher)

April 26: FINAL EXAM

Weekly Class Basic Outline: First 90 Minutes
(second 90 minutes for tutorials)

1. Pastoral Imagination: A Setting in Ministry RAH
2. Lecture RAH, TA’s, Guests
3. Questions? (2) Class
4. TA Buttrick Summary TA’s
5. ‘Tools’ RAH
6. Exemplum Docet RAH, Other
7. Coda\Written Exercise Class

Course Information

Outline: The BUSTH basic preaching course, spring 2010, will follow the above outline, in the first 90 minutes, with the second 90 minutes led in groups by TA’s. Each TA will offer one 45 minute lecture, summarizing one of the annual Lyman Beecher Lectures (2/22, 4/12). Each TA will also provide one 5-7 minute Buttrick summary, with one page written hand out: 1. ES, 2. JV, 3. JB, 4. SBJ, 5. ES, 6. JV, 7. JB, 8. SBJ, 9. RAH.

Guest Dates: February 1: Dr. Veronice Miles; February 22: RAH away; March 1: Peter Weaver; March 3: Violet Fisher; March 15: John Schol; April 22* (optional): Steven Cady (Preaching and Youth Culture)
TA Lecture dates: 2/22, 4/12

No Class Dates: 1/17/10 (M. L. King); 2/15/10 (Presidents’ Day); 3/8/10 (Spring Break); April 19 (Patriots’ Day); 2/16/10, 2/22/10 ‘BU Mondays’

Special (Extra) Days: Wednesday, 3/3/10, 11am Chapel, 2pm Lecture; *Saturday, 4/10/10, Cady/Hill Paper on Pastoral Imagination; *Sunday, April 18, 11am, Peter Gomes, Marsh Chapel;

First Day of class: 1/25/10; Last Day of class: 4/26/10.

Fellowship: Patriot’s Day, April 19, Hill’s 96 Bay State Road #10 (6178593750) 10:30am, Marathon to follow.

Special Breakout Tasks and Days: 1/24: Introductions, descriptions of names, dates for preaching; 2/1: basics and practice in public speaking; 2/8: 5 Internet resources for sermons, and review of exegetical procedure; 2/22: Sermons begin.

Breakout Locations: Marsh Room, Thurman Room, Robinson Chapel, other.

Hill Possible Lecture Topics and Example Sermons (

1: Two Point Sermons. “Two Kinds of Confidence”
2: Language and Imagery. “Snow Day”
3: Spiritual Geography. “Once More to the Lake”
4: Story and History. “Empire Spirit”
5: Preaching John. “Twilight Gospel”
6: Concept and Content. “A Village Green”
7: Preaching the Synoptics. “The Day’s Own Trouble”
8: War and Peace. “Preemption or Redemption?”
9: The Fourth of July. “The Color Purple”
10: Monologue and Dialogue. “Invisible Slides\CRH”
11: Approaching the Grave. “In Memoriam: Mason Hartmann”
12: Meaning and Memoir. “Kyrie Eleison”
13: Preaching and Apocalypse. “Resistance”
14: A Personal Word. “Remembering Chalmers”.
15: Dominical Sayings. “No Place To Lay His Head”

A Selected Homiletical Bibliography


Willimon, William H. Remember Who You Are: Baptism, a Model for Christian Life. Upper Room, 1980.

Ministry (General-leadership)

Dudley, Carl S. Basic Steps Toward Christian Ministry: Guidelines and Models in Ministry. Alban Institute, 1991.

Lebacqz, Karen. Professional Ethics: Power and Paradox. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1989.

Mead, Loren B. The Once and Future Church: Reinventing the
Congregation for a New Mission Frontier, Alban Institute, 1991.

Poling, James N. The Abuses of Power: A Theological Problem. Abingdon, 1991.

Raiser, Konrad. To Be The Church: Challenges and Hopes for a New Millennium. World Council of Churches, 1997.

Schreiter, Robert J. Constructing Local Theologies. Orbis Books, 1985.

Steinke, Peter L. How Your Church Family Works: Understanding Congregations as Emotional Systems. Alaban Institute, 1993.

Weems, Lovett H., Jr. Church Leadership: Vision, Team, Culture, and Integrity. Abingdon, 1993.

Wiest, Walter E. and Elwyn A. Smith. Ethics in Ministry. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990.

Black Church Tradition

Stewart, Carlyle. African-American Leadership. Abingdon, 1994.

Women and Gender

Becker, Carol E. Leading Women: How Church Women Can Avoid Leadership Traps and Negotiate the Gender Maze. Abingdon, 1996.

Gillespie, Joanne Bowen. Women Speak:Of God, Congregations and Change. Trinity Press. 1995.

Nesbitt, Paula D., Feminization of the Clergy in America: Occupational and Organizational Perspectives. Oxford, 1997.

Wessinger, Catherine, ed., Women in Leadership within Religious Communities.

Winter, Miriam T. et al. Defecting in Place: Women Claiming Responsibility For Their Own Spiritual Lives. Crossroads, 1995.

Church & Society

Bass, Dorothy, ed. Practicing Our Faith: A Way of Life for a Searching People. Jossey-Bass, 1997.

Niebuhr, H. Richard. Christ and Culture. Harper, 1951.

Sample, Tex. White Soul.

Practice of Ministry books for Spring 1999:

Ballard, Paul, and John Pritchard Practical Theology in Action:
Christian Thinking in the Service of Church and Society (London: SPCK, 1996) ISBN 0-281-05012-0.

Gunderson, Gary. Deeply Woven Roots: Improving the Quality of Life in Your Community (Minn: Fortress Press, 1997) ISBN 0-8006-3095-5.

Neuger, Christie Cozad, ed. The Arts of Ministry: Feminist-Womanist Approaches (Louisville: Westminister John Knox Press, 1996) ISBN 0-664-25593-0.

Preaching & Worship

Best, Ernest. From Text to Sermon: Responsible Use of the New Testament in Preaching. Atlanta: John Knox, 1978.

Buttrick, David. Homiletic: Moves and Structures. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1988.

Craddock, Fred B. Overhearing the Gospel: Preaching and Teaching the Faith to Persons Who Have Already Heard. Nashville: Abingdon, 1978.

Craddock, Fred. Preaching. Abingdon, 1985.

Davis, Grady. Design for Preaching. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1958.

Faber, H. Vanderschoot, E. The Art of Pastoral Conversation. (New York: Abingdon, 1965).

Fuller, Reginald. The Use of the Bible in Preaching. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1981.

Keck, Leander. The Bible in the Pulpit. Nashville: Abingdon, 1978.

Koller, Charles W. Expository Preaching Without Notes. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1962.

Long, Thomas. The Senses of Preaching. Atlanta: Knox, 1988.
Long, Thomas. “The Use of Scripture in Contemporary Preaching”. Interpretation 44 (4, 90). 341-352.

Malherbe, A. J. “Pastoral Care in the Thessalonian Church”, New Testament Studies, 36 (3, 90), 375-391.

Marty, Martin E. The Word: People Participating in Preaching. Philadelphia: Fortress, 1984.

Miller, R. M. How Shall They Hear Without a Preacher? The Life of Ernest Fremont Tittle. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1971.

Van Seters, Arthur, ed. Preaching as a Social Act. Nashville: Abingdon, 1988.

Willimon, William H. On a Wild and Windy Mountain. Nashville: Abingdon, 1984.

Willimon, William H. Preaching and Leading Worship. Westminster, 1984.

Audiotape Material

Circuit Rider Sermon Series. Nashville: Abingdon.

Reigner Recording Library. Union Theological Seminary, Virginia.

RAHill Personal Collection. AFUMC. Rochester, New York