Item description for Preaching to Pluralists: How to Proclaim Christ in a Postmodern Age by Chris Altrock...
Overview Effective evangelistic sermons require preachers to know their audience and to tailor their preaching accordingly. Chris Altrock uses findings of the Barna Research Group and his own experiences as a preacher to support his descriptions of several characteristics common to the unchurched or the lost crowd today. Recognizing that the audience today is vastly different from previous generations, Altrock suggests several approaches to these postmodern listeners, challenging preachers to change in order to reach the "field of harvest" that Jesus calls the church to love
Publishers Description Effective evangelistic sermons require preachers to know their audience and to tailor their preaching accordingly. Chris Altrock uses findings of the Barna Research Group and his own experiences as a preacher to support his descriptions of several characteristics common to the unchurched or the lost crowd of today. Recognizing that the audience today is vastly different from previous generations, Altrock suggests several approaches to these postmodern listeners, challenging preachers to change their sermons in order to reach the "field of harvest" that Jesus calls the church to love.
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Studio: Chalice Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.58" Width: 5.44" Height: 0.48" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date May 1, 2004
Publisher Chalice Press
ISBN 0827230001 ISBN13 9780827230002
Availability 0 units.
More About Chris Altrock
Chris Altrock is a preaching minister at the Highland Street Church of Christ in Memphis, Tennessee. He is the author of Preaching to Pluralists: How to Proclaim Christ in a Postmodern Age, Rebuilding Relationships: A Sermon on the Mount Floor Plan, and Ten-Minute Transformation.
Chris Altrock currently resides in Las Cruces, in the state of New Mexico. Chris Altrock was born in 1968.
Reviews - What do customers think about Preaching to Pluralists: How to Proclaim Christ in a Postmodern Age?
A Help for Preachers Jun 13, 2005
Imagine you fell asleep in your home, but awoke in a foreign country about which you knew nothing. Imagine if suddenly you had to live in a place where you did not know the language, were unaware of their customs and were even a stranger to their food? This is exactly what has happened to American preachers says Chris Altrock in his book, Preaching to Pluralists. The preaching minister at Highland Street Church of Christ in Memphis, Tenn., Altrock offers preachers a prescription that will help us develop preaching that connects with a culture that differs from the American culture of the pre-nineteen seventies.
Altrock says that the primary characteristic of postmodernism, is that it "denies the possibility of impartial objectivity in human knowledge." Modernism had relied on science; the empirical method, for truth. The postmodern viewpoint is that all knowledge is subjective and the result of interpretation. The hallmarks of postmodernism are pluralism and relativism. The problem with preaching is that pulpits are still addressing a modernistic mindset while the hearers view the world through the eyes of postmodernism, meaning that sermons are missing the target and the gospel goes unheard leaving people untouched. "The harvest is plentiful," the book asserts, but much of the crop goes unpicked.
The book is a prescription for this problem, as indicated in the subtitle, "How to Proclaim Christ in a Postmodern Age." The books strength is in its specific analysis of the crisis in preaching and its targeted remedies. Altrock identifies seven "faces" of postmodernism: postmoderns are uninformed about the basics of Christianity, they are interested in spiritual matters, anti-institutional, pluralistic, pragmatic, relational and experiential. The body of the book devotes a chapter to each of these faces, addressing how postmodern people can be reached through preaching when sermons are informed and shaped by these characteristics.
Altrock's book is helpful to the busy pastor in a number of ways. The book reads well, using anecdotes, helpful and challenging statistics, easily understood ways of writing sermons that take the postmodern culture into consideration.
Theologically, the book can cross a broad spectrum of perspectives. With the language of winning people to Christ and acknowledging Jesus as the only way to salvation, evangelistic readers will find the book compatible with their point of view. Others of a more liberal bent will welcome Altrock's suggestions for preaching that are inclusive of all people and focus on the post-modern concern to love and respect all people. Altrock suggest that preachers demonstrate that the "Jesus only message" is rooted in theology, not culture, believing that will help. Altrock never departs from the point of view that evangelistic work, conversion, is God's doing first and last. Our role is proclaiming God's message.
The book is rich in helpful metaphor. Thus, in examining how we bring theological language, i.e., "church talk," to the hearer, Altrock looks at the language of baseball. If you want to be a fan of the game, you learn the language. He writes, "Baseball does not change its language of "fouls," fly balls," and strike zone," simply because a person is ignorant of their meaning. The language is learned willingly. Our task as preachers is the recognition that the language of our faith is unknown to the postmodern hearer and hence we need to help them understand as we preach.
A weakness of the book may be its suggestions for innovation and change in worship. The book talks about the GRE's of worship. These are God-encountering, Relational and Experiential modes of worship. Those preaching in established churches may will find a welcome for Altrock's suggestions for preaching. His suggestions for changes in worship are another matter. Perhaps the solution is for clear communication with lay leadership in the church and the education of those leaders about the goals of reaching postmoderns.