Item description for A Theology of Preaching: The Dynamics of the Gospel by Richard Lischer...
A Theology of Preaching: The Dynamics of the Gospel by Richard Lischer
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Studio: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.03" Width: 6.19" Height: 0.28" Weight: 0.36 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2001
Publisher Wipf & Stock Publishers
ISBN 1579106595 ISBN13 9781579106591
Availability 0 units.
More About Richard Lischer
RICHARD LISCHER has served as pastor of Lutheran congregations in Illinois and Virginia, and for the past twenty years he has taught at the Duke University Divinity School. His most recent book is The Preacher KingMartin Luther King, Jr., and the Word That Moved America. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.
Richard Lischer currently resides in the state of North Carolina. Richard Lischer has an academic affiliation as follows - Duke University.
Reviews - What do customers think about A Theology of Preaching: The Dynamics of the Gospel?
Putting More Theology into our Sermons Feb 24, 2006
Richard Lischer A Theology of Preaching: The Dynamics of the Gospel Reviewed by Rev. Marc Axelrod
Richard Lischer believes firmly that preaching should be an oral experience and an aural experience, and that it should a reflection of the theology of the church. He decries both the sermon that is tailored to individual needs at the expense of theological reflection, and the exposition that moves directly from text to sermon without reflecting on how the gospel opens the door toward a correct understanding of the wider canon of scripture. In chapter one, he stresses that in preaching theology recovers its initial existence as proclamation and its character as worship, noting that the only contact most people have with theology is through preaching.
The writer also notes in chapter two that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is the fountain of all preaching, and that this should be proclaimed more than just once a year. The resurrection of Jesus brings a powerful element of joy and gladness in our preaching. He sagely observes that the Emmaus road incident in Luke 24 teaches us that the risen Christ in the breaking of bread, in community, and in the opening of the scriptures, which is what we preachers must do on Sunday morning.
There is an interesting discussion in chapter three of how law and gospel work together in the same sermon from Ephesians 2:1-10 to convict an alcoholic of his sin. It would have been helpful to have a clearer outline of what the sermon was like, as well as more specifically how the alcoholic responded to the sermon. And while there is a noteworthy discussion of the seven confusions people make between law and gospel, Lischer himself gives no clear distinction between the two. There is also a fourth chapter where Lischer shows his Barthian influences by asserting that a sermon is the oral word of God. In a limited sense, this is correct, because God indeed speaks through the Sunday sermon to the hearts of the hearers. But does this mean that the sermon has the same level of authority as the written word? This raises more questions than it answers, such as "Which sermons can be classified as the word of God?" and "Who decides if they are the word of God?" A particular sermon can be the word of God to one parishioner, and utter hogwash to another. Which one is right?
There is also a chapter on Christian anthropology, where Lischer discusses how the theology of the image of God lays the groundwork for an understanding of preaching as an act of love for others who are made in the image of God. There is also a final chapter about how the occasion of the sermon will shape the language of the sermon.
Lischer writes well, and his comments are an inspired call for the preacher to ground his or her sermons in the theological matrix of the church. On one hand, I am sympathetic toward his desire for sermons that grapple with the content of the faith. I prefer that kind of preaching over a heavy emphasis on canned stories and need-centered preaching. I appreciate his emphasis on wanting the sermon to take into context the whole Bible.
On the other hand, I am even more sympathetic toward those who long for sermons which preach the text and allow the text to determine the theology that is espoused for that day. Lischer's book is interesting and tasty, but there is a clear elevation of his Barthian and Lutheran influences above the text of scripture, and so the reader should read with a wary eye.