Item description for THE HEART OF BLACK PREACHING by Cleophus J. Larue...
Overview LaRue provides important insights on why black preaching is strong and active, and connects with the real-life experiences of listeners. (Christian)
Publishers Description By Midwest Book Review Cleophus J. LaRue's Heart Of Black Preaching provides important insights on why black preaching is strong and active, connecting with the real-life experiences of listeners. Too many preachers leave God out: LaRue considers the important connections between life experiences and religion which make black preachers so effective in their communities. Another reviewer wrote: This is a super book for anyone wanting to know the history and present day dynamics of black preaching. LaRue brings forth a wealth of information on great black preachers of the past and he also draws upon current African American preachers on the American scene. He claims there is a particular way of viewing God that is distinctive to black preaching. Moreover, he argues that there are five domains or spheres of black lived experience that are very helpful to black preaching. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to gain a greater understanding of the particulars of black preaching and a greater understanding of how to prepare your own sermons. It is a most helpful book. Great
Citations And Professional Reviews THE HEART OF BLACK PREACHING by Cleophus J. Larue has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Booklist - 12/15/1999 page 768
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Studio: John Knox Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.8" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 1999
Publisher PRESBYTERIAN PUBLISHING #86
ISBN 0664258476 ISBN13 9780664258474
Availability 0 units.
More About Cleophus J. Larue
Cleophus J. LaRue is Francis Landey Patton Associate Professor of Homiletics at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. He is the author of "The Heart of Black Preaching" and the editor of "Power in the Pulpit: How America's Most Effective Black Preachers Prepare Their Sermons", both available from WJK.
Reviews - What do customers think about THE HEART OF BLACK PREACHING?
Good Book Jan 21, 2003
This book is very helpful for a few reasons.
1) It gives the authors understanding of the basic principles of Black Preaching. 2) It speaks of the different domains that Black Preaching addresses such as Social Injustice, Personal Piety, etc. 3)It provides a number of sermons from Black preachers through the years and analyzes them according to the principles set forth in the book.
If you want to gain a greater understanding of Good Black preaching I would suggest this book.
Excellent Sep 14, 2001
The contents of HEART OF BLACK PREACHING includes acknowledgments, an introduction, and four chapters of proposed analytical nomenclature, application of that system of analysis to 19th century and contemporary preachers and one of their exemplary sermons, ending with a review of the preceding exposition and analysis. The appendix contains a full published rendition of the sermons analyzed in chapters 2 and 3. There are ample footnotes, bibliography, acknowledgments of copyrighted material and an index at the close of the book, which totals 260 pages. The introduction is unpretentiously clear in its conclusion that the author relies on David Kelsey's theory that "all faith communities have some master interpretive lens that guides their interpretation and use of scripture." (3) This apparently operates in a similar fashion to Gunkel's "Sitz im Leben" for exegetical research purposes. Only, the Kelsey approach is applied to sermon texts, instead of literary and historical development of biblical scripture. LaRue posits that "What we perceive to be the most important aspect of Christianity is the key factor that determines how we construe and use scripture..." Chapter 1 entitled "The Search for Distinctiveness in Black Preaching" contains certain supposedly unique "Characteristics of Black Preaching." The would be "strong biblical content", creative uses of language, appeal to emotions, ministerial authority, and some additional characteristics" ncluding "homiletical musicality." (13) The next "Scripture and Life Experiences" section emphasizes how the black church was born in slavery and continues to carry the legacy of oppression and struggle of the past four centuries. "A Communal Interpretive Strategy" returns to the Kelsey theory and nomenclature for literary analysis of sermons. The concept of "discrimen" means "a distinguishing pattern that guides scriptural use in specific faith communities." (17) LaRue applies this approach so as to postulate "[f]rom beginning to end, therefore, the black sermon has as its goal the creation of a meaningful connection between an all-powerful God and a marginalized and powerless people. (19)
The preceding pages prepare the reader for the most important lesson in the book that teaches Dr. LaRue's literary and sociological approach to understanding the black churches' common characteristics in sermon content. In "Dynamics of a Black Biblical Hermeneutic" he draws most of the reader's attention to further application of the previously mentioned "Sitz im Leben" approach. He then axiomatically sets forth "five broad domains of experience that appear often in black life and preaching to constitute a paradigm... personal piety, care of the soul, social justice, corporate concerns, and maintenance of the institutional church." (21-25) Although the author mentions "extended metaphors" including liberation, deliverance, empowerment, providence, reconciliation, parenthood, and election as common themes of the manifestations of God's power in the black religious experience, (28) it becomes very obvious that the sermons used as demonstrative examples are heavily involved in liberation and deliverance in the 19th century and empowerment in the 20th century. On the same token, among the possible array of "domains of experience" LaRue has taken very obvious editorial license to promote the impression that sermons with the greater significance lean heavily in the "social justice" and "corporate concerns" domains. Impliedly LaRue uses deductive reasoning under the pretext that he is a black preacher having studied and read many 19th century black sermons; that he has read and listened to many contemporary black preachers. He maintains this inner sanctum posture throughout the book. In chapter 2 "The Power Motif in Nineteenth-Century: African American Sermons" begins with John Jasper's characteristic hermeneutic. It is premised as containing narrative genre, where God acts mightily as a "liberator and defender." He relies on the domain of the "care of the soul." (35). Alexander Crummell is previewed next with a hermeneutic of a God who acts mightily. "History moves under the power of God with purpose and design; God is sovereign over all nations of the earth, including America; and Whatever a nation or people ultimately becomes, both corporately and individually, depends upon its character and obedience to almighty God." (37) Crummell also utilizes principles of destruction and restoration. (41) This is significant, since LaRue fails to feature the post reconstruction sermon "The Greatness of Christ." The political agenda of the author rules and "The Destined Superiority of the Negro" is what the reader gets. (138-146) LaRue's treatment of the remaining 19th century preachers: Francis J. Grimke, Daniel Alexander Payne, and Elias Camp Morris. This writer has found similar political agendas in the Chapter 3 "A Hermeneutic of Power in Contemporary African American Sermons." Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., Katie G. Cannon, A. Louis Patterson, Jr., Mozella Mitchell, Fred C. Lofton, and Carolyn Ann Knight are all very exemplary. Their styles of preaching are sufficiently varied to avoid any possible accusation that LaRue is practicing denominationalism. Chapter 4 "The Basic Dynamics of the African American Sermon: Power and the Sovereign God" is an admirable summary of LaRue's thorough review of the black preachers he has chosen. "The Black Socio-cultural Context" and "Varieties of Black Experience" hint at possible further research and exposition on themes not raised in this book. As an aside. Justo L. Gonzalez's Santa Biblia, The Bible Through Hispanic Eyes might prove to be an interesting comparison. What if someone wrote a comparative review of many such socio-cultural contexts in the Christian churches throughout the world? The Appendix contains the following excellent sermons: John Jasper's The Sun Do Move; Alexander Crummell's The Destined Superiority of the Negro; Francis J. Grimke's A Resemblance and a Contrast between the American Negro and the Children of Israel, in Egypt, or the Duty of the Negro to Contend Earnestly for His Rights Guaranteed under the Constitution: The Roosevelt-Washington Episode, or Race Prejudice; Daniel Alexander Payne's: Welcome to the Ransomed; Elias C. Morris' The Brotherhood of Man; Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr's What Makes You So Strong? Unexpected Blessings; Katie G. Cannon's To Tell the Truth; A. Louis Patterson, Jr.'s How to Know You Are in the Kingdom; Mozella Mitchell's: Pro- vi-dence; Fred C. Lofton's: Bad Black Dude on the Road; and Carolyn Ann Knight's: If Thou Be a Great People.
A Super Preaching Book Dec 18, 2000
This is a super book for anyone wanting to know the history and present day dynamics of black preaching. LaRue brings forth a wealth of information on great black preachers of the past and he also draws upon current African American preachers on the American scene. He claims there is a particular way of viewing God that is distinctive to black preaching. Moreover, he argues that there are five domains or spheres of black lived experience that are very helpful to black preaching. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to gain a greater understanding of the particulars of black preaching and a greater understanding of how to prepare your own sermons. It is a most helpful book. Great!
An interesting and informative book Aug 26, 2000
As a student it is hard to find books that are both educational and good reads. Cleophus LaRue's novel is one of these rare books. I found "The Heart of Black Preaching" very helpful to me in my studies as a black female preacher. It will remain a staple in my reading diet, and I hope the author will continue to write.
Important insights into Black evangelism and preaching. Feb 4, 2000
Cleophus J. LaRue's Heart Of Black Preaching provides important insights on why black preaching is strong and active, connecting with the real-life experiences of listeners. Too many preachers leave God out: LaRue considers the important connections between life experiences and religion which make black preachers so effective in their communities.