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)
(An expansion of Research, #1: Basic Recipe for a Sermon)
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’
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
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
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?
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?
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."
“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)
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)
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)
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
- 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.
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
5) “thus, therefore.”
Some Syntactical Problems
Although doublets, triple words or clauses could create rhythmic cadences, they could easily disrupt consciousness in hearing.
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?