Item description for Christian Preaching: A Trinitarian Theology of Proclamation by Michael Pasquarello...
Overview Drawing upon key figures from the Christian tradition as well as contemporary authors, the author offers a Trinitarian vision of preaching that provides both theological reflection and sample sermons.
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Studio: Baker Academic
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.98" Width: 6.22" Height: 0.79" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 2007
Publisher Baker Publishing Group
ISBN 0801027608 ISBN13 9780801027604
Availability 0 units.
More About Michael Pasquarello
Michael Pasquarello III (PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) is Granger E. and Anna A. Fisher Professor of Preaching at Asbury Theological Seminary and has more than twenty years of pastoral experience in the United Methodist Church. He is the author of Sacred Rhetoric: Preaching as a Theological and Pastoral Practice of the Church and the coeditor of Narrative Reading, Narrative Preaching: Reuniting New Testament Interpretation and Proclamation.
Reviews - What do customers think about Christian Preaching: A Trinitarian Theology of Proclamation?
Not bad, but not great Jul 16, 2008
Pasquarello should be commended for advocating a God-centered preaching methodology, and for pointing out the dangers of an anthropocentric frame of mind. However, what much of this book reduces to is a series of straw man arguments and logical non sequiturs. These straw man arguments are mostly against contemporary models of proclamation such as "Church Growth" and "seeker sensitive" models. Indeed, he exhibits almost a sadistic pleasure in his sustained attack on them throughout the book addressing, and re-addressing mostly the negative extremes to which these approaches can be taken. While he is on target with some of his criticisms, most of them are based on severely mistaken assumptions of why these churches do what they do.
One would expect such a sustained attack on these models to, at least at some point, wrestle with the positive qualities of contemporary models. Yet Pasquerello fails throughout to even glance at anything positive; for example, the demonstrable fact that there are scores of people now in fellowship with Christ and the Church who would never have even considered approaching otherwise. Moreover, while Pasquerello seeks a doxological model of preaching, he fails to recognize the inherently doxological quality of evangelistic models: these formerly unchurched people have now become, and are becoming more and more "living sacrifices" that are a fragrant aroma to the Lord. The appropriate response to the failures of contemporary models is not to anathematize them tout court, but to reflectively consider how they can be formed more perfectly. A lack of this recognition evinced by Passquarello will no doubt change very few minds who follow contemporary models.
The non sequiturs and false conclusions in this book are many. Passquarello establishes "church growth" models of preaching and worship as antithetical to a "Trinitarian" focus, yet he simply does not provide sufficient exegetical or historical support for this, resulting in conclusions that do not follow his premises. While Pasquarello attempts for a more transcendentally-oriented theology of preaching, he ends in what seems to be a total rejection of any value that may come from general revelation (e.g., in the sciences, economics, etc.). His assumption is that any implementation of "natural" methodologies must be a rejection of good theology. He apparently forgets that the God of Christianity is also the Creator of the Cosmos and the philanthropist who bestowed whatever "good gifts" are found therein.
While he grasps the doctrine of Trinity, he apparently does not recognize the implications the doctrine of incarnation has upon the natural world when the divine logos entered into His own physical creation. In a gesture of absurd irony, at one point Pasquarello criticizes the utilization of technology (such as PowerPoint, lights, etc.) by saying that it reduces Christianity to a "gnostic message that separates the form of the gospel from its content." What he apparently fails to realize is that such technology when used in this way is does "separate," but is integrative, getting more of the senses of the human flesh involved in the process of Gospel proclamation--eyes as well as ears. In contrast, a truly gnostic approach to preaching, would seem would seek to eliminate all physical and non-spiritual elements as possible, focusing exclusively on the "spiritual." Indeed, it seems that Pasquarello's exclusively oral proclamation that is "primarily a theological rather than stylistic matter," centered completely around communicating theological "saving knowledge" (gnosis), would fall much more appropriately under the label "gnostic" than a physically integrative, technological, experiential approach that is not afraid to touch what God has given to us in the physical universe, and using that to help communicate the Gospel message.
Nor does Pasquerello adequately wrestle with the implications the kenosis might ought to have on the shape of preaching, considering how to communicate God's truth to a specific congregation in a specific cultural environment. These are the theological foundations upon which contemporary models of preaching (and church ministry) are built, yet they are not once engaged in this book.
While Pasquerello's attempt to develop a model of preaching is theologically Christian is laudable, his attempt to do so falls flat. It is a myopic theology he propounds. His criticisms, too, fall flat, with the result of a text that is both hollow and, sadly, uncharitable.