Our guest preaching blogger this week is
2008-10-27 by CJ Teets

David Davis, pastor of Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, New Jersey. He has served the congregation there for nine years. On occasion, he is a guest lecturer on preaching at Princeton Theological Seminary. His own research on the preaching event has focused on the active role of the listener. Last year he published a collection of sermons entitled A Kingdom We Can Taste: Sermons for the Church Year (Erdmans)




Festival of Homiletics News
2008-10-24 by CJ Teets

We were delighted to learn this morning that Mark Hanson will speak at the Festival of Homiletics in Atlanta in May. He is the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and a terrific preacher. Jim Wallis also has joined the growing list of preachers for the Festival.



Janyce, Stephen, and Reformation
2008-10-23 by David von Schlichten

Thank you to guest blogger Janyce Jorgensen, as well as to Stephen Schuette for his contribution.

I will be preaching on the ideas of up and down theology, which I got from Timothy Wengert, a world-renowned scholar of the Lutheran confessions. Dr. Wengert contends that most people are up-theologians in that we think that God is "up there" and we need to do good works and the like to earn our way up the ladder to God.

The Bible teaches that we are to be down-theologians. We do not work up to God. God comes down to us. It is through God's descent to us that we have eternal life and healing, not through our pathetic clawing up the Ladder of Babel.

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





Pre-Election Preaching
2008-10-22 by CJ Teets

Go to HOMEPAGE and Share It! to read Ron Allen's thoughts on preaching during this election season.

Also, check out the new material for All Saints' Day, Veterans' Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Advent in UNLECTIONARY.

A pastor named Joe has a question in the Parish Solution Forum. Preach on the economy, preacher? Go to HomePage and Share It! to give Joe the Preacher some feedback.





A Whole New Game
2008-10-21 by Stephen Schuette

There are lots of options on texts this week, but it seems to me that there are links among them.

 

For Matthew 22:34 the NRSV mildly translates that the Pharisees heard that Jesus had “silenced” the Sadducees.  More literally it means they were “muzzled” or “tied shut.”  In the “temple games” Jesus keeps on winning, tying opponents up in verbal knots.  And word is spreading about his oratorical prowess.  But Jesus is “winning” because he’s not even trying.  They’re interested in this “win-loss” record, and they’re caught up in it so deeply that they can’t see the forest for the trees (Ps 1).

 

And wasn’t that the point of the Reformation, to look up and see something bigger?  Both Anna and Scott speak powerfully about this in the “Preaching the Lesson” and “A Sermon” sections in Lectionary Homiletics.

 

A colleague helpfully suggested that when you receive the comment, “You really gave it to ‘em this week, Pastor,” or “I wish my brother would have been here to hear that one…” it’s a sure sign that you failed to communicate the gospel in a way that invites each one to make progress in living out more fully the love of God and love of neighbor.  It’s just more “partiality” (See Lev. and 1 Thes readings) that builds some up by putting others down.  It may be good temple games but it fails to reflect the spirit of Jesus.

 

What if the game is rigged entirely differently from our expectations?  What if we win only if everybody wins?





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