Craft of Preaching

Where's the Arc?

I’m not saying Jesus was a bad preacher.

I am saying that one of the traditional styles of 1st century, Middle Eastern preaching that he used would

Matthew and Mark and Mysteries

We are in Advent, and a new church year is beginning.

We have scoured and scraped ourselves through the book of Matthew with all its blessings and gnashings

Rejoicing in Active Hope

Clothing and food -- celebrated necessities -- describe God’s abundant gifts to creation in an Isaiah passage that shows up twice in December’s

The Domino's Effect

A few years ago the Domino’s Pizza company faced a grim reality. Sales were falling off dramatically. While this once-successful company lived in

Betting on the Spirit

Back in seminary, and when I teach preaching, we emphasized over and over again to our students the importance of taking time to prepare and craft a sermon

"Left Behind" Is Left Behind

The rapture is declining, according to Wheaton College’s Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals. The nineteenth-century notion that Christians

We Are Looking for You, Holy Spirit

We are looking for you, Holy Spirit.

We block off some time to spend with the lectionary text for this Sunday, looking for you. We search for you in and

Yes, the Gospel Does Matter

Putting together a decent sermon is no easy task. This is not a complaint, it just is. As Nathan Aaseng comments in his September 16, 2014 column, Preaching

Restless Idols

Yesterday I planned to phone a friend while refueling my car. But the gas pump’s disembodied voice, not content with offering instructions and falling

Preaching to People whose Theology Differs from Mine

I don’t know that I’ve ever heard a pastor address this issue, but I’m guessing I’m not the only one who has experienced it, so

Prayer: Carrying Our Cross

Fall has arrived and the sky is closing in on us. Some take comfort in winter’s swaddling while others miss the wide, long days of summer. Yet this

God is Great, God is Good

During September, leading up to the Feast Day of St. Francis, a growing number of congregations adopt the alternate lectionary Season of Creation. This

Pulpit Inventory

I’ve always been fascinated by words. Words shape ideas, so much that a seemingly innocuous phrasing choice can seriously, and sometimes permanently,

God in the Wild

A Look Ahead

During September, leading up to the Feast Day of St. Francis, a growing number of congregations adopt the alternate lectionary Season of Creation

The Oddly Comforting World of Saint Matthew

Preaching is little things carrying big things. It’s all about figuring out how to tell the story of Christ; this weighty promise on our transitory