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When God is Silent (Lyman Beecher Lectures, 1997.) [Paperback]

By Barbara Brown Taylor (Author)
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Item description for When God is Silent (Lyman Beecher Lectures, 1997.) by Barbara Brown Taylor...

In these 1997 Lyman Beecher Lectures in preaching delivered at Yale Divinity School, Barbara Brown Taylor focuses on the task of preaching in a world where people thirst for a word from God. How do we as Christians hear this word from a God who often seems to be silent? How do we speak with truth and restraint of the incarnate God? And how do we listen to the Word of God spoken in the midst of silence?

Publishers Description
Reading of God s silence in the Bible gives me courage to explore the practice of restraint in preaching not as a deliberate withholding of God s word nor, I hope, as a rationale for my own reticence, but as a sober reaching for more reverence in the act of public speaking about God. In these 1997 Lyman Beecher Lectures in Preaching delivered at Yale Divinity School, Barbara Brown Taylor focuses on the task of those who preach and those who hear sermons in a world where people thirst for a word from God. How may we approach this seemingly silent God with due respect, proclaiming the Word without violating the silence, by speaking with restraint? Her first chapter examines the late twentieth-century language with which we talk about God in theology and speak to God in prayer. The second chapter addresses the question of God s communication in Scripture and how the voice of God was heard less and less in the land as the centuries progressed. Finally, Taylor explores what the silence of God means for Christians and how we may exercise homiletical restraint in speaking of the divine."

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Cowley Publications
Pages   129
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.17" Width: 5.03" Height: 0.41"
Weight:   0.35 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 2001
Publisher   Cowley Publications
Series  Cloister Books  
ISBN  1561011576  
ISBN13  9781561011575  

Availability  4 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 18, 2017 10:04.
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More About Barbara Brown Taylor

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Barbara Brown Taylor is an Episcopal priest. She holds the Harry R. Butman Chair in Religion and Philosophy at Piedmont College in northeastern Georgia and serves as adjunct professor of Christian spirituality at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur. Recognized as one of the twelve most effective preachers in the English language by Baylor University in 1995, Taylor has published numerous collections of her sermons and theological reflections, including Mixed Blessings, The Preaching Life, Speaking of Sin, Bread of Angels, Home By Another Way, and Gospel Medicine. Information about Barbara Brown Taylor's speaking engagements can be found on her website: http: //

Barbara Brown Taylor currently resides in the state of Georgia.

Barbara Brown Taylor has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Dan Josselyn Memorial Publication (Paperback)
  2. Feasting on the Word
  3. Lyman Beecher Lectures on Preaching

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( T ) > Taylor, Barbara Brown
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Preaching
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Anglican
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Protestantism > Episcopalian > General
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Protestant

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Pastoral Help > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about When God is Silent (Lyman Beecher Lectures, 1997.)?

Well Researched and Presented  Jul 12, 2008
Dr Taylor has obviously done her 'homework' and presented a well researched subject. It is a matter of interest to academia, clergy and laypersons alike. She writes in an easily, readable style, that is readily understood. I've recommended it to several of my clergy friends; and, will recommend it to lay people as well.
A word diet based on silence!  Mar 17, 2007
Barbara Brown Taylor demonstrates her craft as a preacher so effectively that she has earned the title of one of America's best. In her book When God is Silent, Barbara brings to light the difficulty many that preach face as they approach the Biblical text and message. In forthright honesty she gives expression to areas that both teach and frighten a preacher when they are preparing a homily: famine, silence, and restraint.

Taylor speaks to a culture that has become accustomed to its throwaway lifestyle. Words are disposable. With so many words now being assimilated into the English language, our minds are over satiated. This rich diet of fast food newsprint, magazine gluttony, and a blitzkrieg of entertainment television has numbed the ability of words to move and stir our being. In the midst of abundance, we are in a state of famine--a famine that is silent.

What do we do when we don't hear the voice of God? Taylor paints a picture of a God who has grown silent in order that we may pay attention. The canvas of silence is one we avoid with all our might. Upon the canvas, the colors are vivid primary tones that our culture tries to dull with noise and activity. Her point is well taken...God is not really silent, people have just muted God out. But she warns preachers to be wary of using too much language to fill voids of silence, for silence is the antacid to settle our indigestion caused by over feeding on our vernacular.

What Taylor does best, is allow the reader to reflect on whose word is being proclaimed on Sundays. She uses the old adage of `less is more' to articulate that holding back on word usage allows for the silence to speak, almost like a ray of sunlight peaking through a cloud covered sky. Recognize our loss by over using words and restrain ourselves from saying too much. Let silence speak, for it has more profound things to say than any preacher can. Using vivid imagery, she gives sound advice to all who step into the pulpit to proclaim the good news. Sometimes, what you don't say or leave unsaid speaks louder and lasts longer. After all, its God's good news for us, not our good news for ourselves.
The Dilemma of God's Silence  May 7, 2005
In this book of lectures delivered at Yale Divinity School, Taylor states that the task of a preacher is not to give answers or advice but to "usher people into the presence of God who may or may not answer." She states if we have a God who always speaks, who's never absent or silent, perhaps we are worshipping or speaking to an imaginary God. "Only an idol always answers," she writes.

Taylor urges preachers not to cover for God's silence with numerous words but rather to employ a language that uses economy, courtesy, and reverence. "In a word-clogged world," she writes, "the only words that stand a chance of getting people's attention are simple, honest words that come from everyday life."

Taylor is unafraid to plunge into the mystery and dilemma of God's silence. Her reflections offer insight and guidance, not only to preachers but also to anyone who has struggled with unanswered prayer and the absence of a speaking God.
A Wordsmith at her best  Mar 16, 2005

It is not surprising that in Barbara Brown Taylor' When God is Silent, the genuine wordsmith focuses on the life and power of words both when they are used and when they are not. When God is Silent comes from the 1997 Lyman Beecher Lectures delivered at Yale Divinity School.

Taylor shares the idea that we are living in a world, in a culture that not only has an increase in the number of words in our language, but it appears that we have grown away from a point where the words had meaning. In the first section of the book entitled "Famine" she enables the reader to recognize the need and desire that we have for words with substance. She suggests that our words are under attack, stripped by the monsters of consumerism and journalism.

In the second section "Silence," Taylor lifts up the scriptural references to the silence God has shared as well as those in Jesus' life. It is in this silence that true power exists. The example of the silence present in the story of Abraham binding Isaac is amazing. Not only were those in the story silent but I think each of us that reads the story for the first, tenth or one hundredth time is struck by our own silence as the knife is lifted in the air.

The third section takes the God given silence and instructs us in what way we are to deal with it. How do we honor God's silence? How do we respect those we are preaching to in regard to this silence?

Through this brief book, this threefold lecture series, those clergy, seminarians, lay folk and professors present at the lecture as well as those of us who read it, Barbara Brown Taylor is able to convey her outstanding work as a modern-day wordsmith to us.
But sometimes, He is NOT SILENT  Aug 5, 2004
This book is composed of three lectures Barbara Taylor gave at Yale University under the generous support of the Lyman Beecher Lectures. It's always fun to see who gets to be picked by the committee and each time they roll around with the announcement, it is always a delightful surprise. No more so than in the case of Ms. Taylor, who has been an inspiring speaker for many years with speaking engagements in many places of worship from here to Hattiesburg and back.

In these lectures, which are, after all, aimed toward her fellow practitioners, she asks us, what happens when the words dry up and when God seems to turn His face away from the mess that we humans have made of our world? What does the preacher, a man or woman who depends on His word in the original sense of the word "depends" (i.e., hanging from, like a pearl earring hanging from the girl in Vermeer's painting) what does the preacher do to be able to give something to the folk assembled to hear him -- or her of course? Is there a recourse in silence, or music? In Lecture II all of these elements come together and Ms. Taylor really starts to (to use the lingo of jazz which she loves) "cook." And she doesn't turn off the heat until she's out of the kitchen! Now, sometimes God is silent, or SEEMS to be, but happily, usually He is NOT SILENT.

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