Item description for Preaching: An Essential Guide (Essential Guide (Abingdon Press)) by Ronald J. Allen...
Overview Anyone who's ever stepped into the pulpit knows that preaching is anything but easy. Speaking a word from God that is grounded in the biblical witness, theologically responsible, and true to contemporary experiences is one of the most difficult things one can do. Advice on how to do this is as old as preaching itself, and there are as many opinions on preaching as there are preachers. Where does a preacher begin? What basic understanding and practices are necessary? In the new addition to the Essential Guides series, Ronald Allen seeks to answer these basic questions about preaching. He does so through the use of an inductive method. Starting with a sample sermon, he uses that sermon to illustrate the process of moving from the first thoughts about what one will preach to the delivery of an actual sermon. Each chapter raises a question about the sample sermon that leads into a discussion of the practical and theoretical issues related to this particular aspect of the sermon.
Preaching: it sounds like such a easy thing to do. All you have to do is step into the pulpit and talk for 20 minutes, right? Anyone who s ever stepped into that pulpit knows that preaching is anything but easy. Speaking a word from God that is grounded in the biblical witness, theologically responsible, and true to contemporary experience is one of the most difficult things one can do. Advice on how to do this is as old as preaching itself, and there are as many opinions on preaching as there are preachers. Where do those who have been called to the ministry of proclamation begin? What are the basic understandings and practices that anyone who proposes to preach should know?
In this new addition to the Essential Guides series, Ronald Allen seeks to answer these basic questions about preaching. He does so through the use of an inductive method, which is simply to say that he starts with a sermon itself, and uses that sermon to illustrate the process of moving from the first thoughts about what one will preach to the delivery of an actual sermon itself. Each chapter will raise a question about the sample sermon that leads into a broader discussion of the practical and theoretical issues that this particular aspect of the sermon raises (e.g., What is the good news in this sermon? What is the significance of this news for the congregation? Does the preacher offer a clear and sensible interpretation of the biblical text or the topic?)
Written with the needs of students in both traditional M. Div. classes and non-degree ministry training programs in mind, Preaching: An Essential Guide will be an indispensable companion for all the others who seek to rightly explain the word of truth.
Ronald J. Allen is Professor of Homiletics at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana "
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Studio: Abingdon Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.16" Width: 6.04" Height: 0.43" Weight: 0.51 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 2002
Publisher Abingdon Church Supplies
Series Essential Guide - Abingdon
ISBN 0687045169 ISBN13 9780687045167
Availability 88 units. Availability accurate as of Mar 29, 2017 12:55.
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More About Ronald J. Allen
Ronald J. Allen is Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Preaching and New Testament at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. He is author of many books, including Patterns of Preaching and Interpreting the Gospel, and coauthor of One Gospel, Many Ears and Listening to Listeners, all from Chalice Press.
Ronald J. Allen currently resides in Indianapolis.
Ronald J. Allen has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Preaching: An Essential Guide (Essential Guide (Abingdon Press))?
Bare essentials... May 15, 2003
One of Ron Allen's colleagues once described him in terms of being the Isaac Asimov of preaching and homiletics - `he never has an unpublished thought,' the statement went. Allen himself recently told me in jest that his philosophy is `write first, think later.' To anyone who reads Allen's works, this statement is obviously false. Such is true with his latest volume, `Preaching: The Essential Guide.'
This text is a mere 125 pages, but encapsulates much of Allen's decades of preaching and teaching experience. The purposes of the book reflect this duality of Allen's experience. One purpose is to teach new preachers the basics of preaching. A second purpose is to help students - the book can be used as a text in a course.
The book is useful for more than just beginning preachers. Rare is the preacher who does not benefit from a review of the basics. Just as any preacher will want to constantly re-read the Bible together with the latest commentaries, as well as sermons by others, so too should any good preacher occasionally review the process of preaching, from initial idea and formation of a sermon to delivery and feedback.
Allen does not give one standard model which preachers must follow. He states:
`I do not believe that God has a blueprint for every sermon that the preacher needs only to discover. God made human beings to be creative as preachers and as listeners. The sermon is always an act of interpretation. But in ways that fit every situation, God desires for pastor and people to have optimum understandings and experiences of grace.'
In speaking of the intention of preaching, Allen puts God first, and God remains a constant influence at every stage.
Methodologically, this book differs from many preaching texts, including several of Allen's own previous works. Rather than going from theory to practice, it changes the order, and highlight practical aspects from which general principles and theory may arise. Allen begins with a sample sermon to illustrate points. These are meant as influences and guidelines rather than inerrant and rigid standards that must be maintained.
Each of the seven chapters begins with a question - in fact, each chapter title is the primary question to answered. These questions are basic questions that every preacher (and every listener) should take to heart.
What is the Good News from God in the sermon? Does the sermon honour the integrity of the Bible or the topic? Is the sermon theologically adequate? Does the sermon relate the text or topic to the congregation in a responsible way? What is the significance of the sermon for the congregation? Does the sermon move in a way that is easy to follow? Does the preacher embody the sermon in an engaging way?
From these questions, it is easy to see that Allen will not propose any particular framework for sermons. Allen discusses different styles and models of preaching, but there will be no particular fill-in-the-blank outline given out here. The preacher must do her or his own thinking, reflecting, and crafting.
Each of the questions addressed is of vital importance in the creation of a good sermon. A sermon can be the best rhetorical construction imaginable, but it might be unfaithful to its topic, or fall short theologically. Allen, being a member of the Disciples of Christ denomination and very ecumenically minded, provides help in broad strokes, but ultimately the responsibility for determining practical applications will rest with the preacher and congregation.
However, some `helpful hints' are very handy, if not always what a person constructing a sermon will want to hear. Many preachers have handy books of illustrations and stories ready-made to be incorporated into sermons, a sort of cheat-sheet for preachers. With the advent of the internet, such possibilities are much greater. Allen cautions against using these.
`I encourage preachers to avoid using stories form collections of sermon illustrations. Almost every time I hear such a story, it fails to resonate with real life. It sounds stale. Many tales from collections are just too simple or too contrived. Often the wording is artificial.'
Of course, Allen generally assumes that preachers won't lift sermons whole and entire from other sources and deliver them as their own!
Various appendices give step-by-step instructions for sermon preparation (Allen is big on this, as any of his students will attest); suggestions for preaching cycles over time; and a short but significant piece on outside resources. These resource suggestions include Biblical commentaries, church history resources, theology aids, and various preaching resources.
This text is presented in Ron Allen's usual engaging and readable style. Allen does not shy away from academic terminology, but the reader is not overwhelmed with unfamiliar terms or language constructs. In this way, Allen's text embodies what he is trying to get across to the student of preaching - not quite a keep-it-simple-stupid principle, but keep it accessible and interesting.
I highly recommend this text to seminarians, new preachers, veteran preachers, as well as those who listen to sermons and seek a greater appreciation of the process.