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Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Preaching the liberal Christian gospel.

Tom Schade writes at Prophet Motive:

Our task in preaching and worship these days is to call people to an encounter with the Living Spirit of God, or as James Luther Adams prefers to put it: “Life’s creating, sustaining and transforming power.”

Our preaching must be a call to spiritual freedom and agency.

Our preaching must affirm each one's own creating, sustaining and transforming power.

Our preaching must call people to join in community, as a self-differentiated, equal human being.

Our preaching should be a call to repentance and reform. It should convict the listener of sin and shortcoming. The idolatrous worship of lesser gods (prosperity, political power, social calm, insular community) must be named.

But our task in preaching must also advocate, educate and equip people for the religious and theological debates of the present day.

And this is where he names the present and identifies the situation preaching must confront:

There is a huge theological discussion going on in the country about religion. Like all great discussions conducted in this most democratic and popular of cultures, it is loud, noisy and undignified. It is conducted with the tools of advertising and propaganda. It is political, it is cultural and it is marketing. It is slogans, and catch phrases and simplifications. It is occasionally high-minded, sometimes quick-witted and often just leather-lunged. But one side is right; the other is terribly mistaken and misguided; and the vast majority are in the middle.

The liturgy of the Word matter[s] now more than ever, since our tasks have such a large component of persuasion, education and advocacy.

He's churning out a lot of important ideas lately, and I'm eager to see where they're taking him. As a James Luther Adams fan, of course, I'm all ears.

Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 2 March 2005 at 10:12 PM

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March 4, 2005 03:04 AM | Permalink for this comment

This is totally and completely off-topic, but did I really just notice a screenshot of this blog on the Daily Show from March 3?

I'm pretty sure I did, which is pretty awesome :)

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