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Conversations with Barth on Preaching [Paperback]

By William H. Willimon (Author)
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Item description for Conversations with Barth on Preaching by William H. Willimon...

One of today's greatest preacher-theologians engages Karl Barth, one of the 20th century's greatest teacher-theologians, on the meaning and practice of preaching.

Publishers Description

One of today s greatest preacher-theologians engages one of the twentieth century's greatest teacher-theologians on the meaning of preaching.
Readers of William H. Willimon s many books have long found there the influence of Karl Barth, probably the most significant theologian of the twentieth century. In this new book Willimon explores that relationship explicitly by engaging Barth s work on the pitfalls and problems, glories and grandeur of preaching the Word of God. The Swiss theologian, says the author, expressed one of the highest theologies of preaching of any of the great theologians of the church. Yet too much of Barth s understanding of preaching lies buried in the Church Dogmatics and other, sometimes obscure, sources. Willimon brings this material to light, introducing the reader to Barth s thought, not just on the meaning, but the practice of preaching as well."

Citations And Professional Reviews
Conversations with Barth on Preaching by William H. Willimon has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • Christian Century - 11/14/2006 page 40

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Abingdon Press
Pages   324
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.96" Width: 6.04" Height: 0.77"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   May 1, 2006
Publisher   Abingdon Church Supplies
ISBN  0687341612  
ISBN13  9780687341610  

Availability  131 units.
Availability accurate as of Sep 23, 2017 08:53.
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More About William H. Willimon

William H. Willimon The Reverend Dr. William H. Willimon is Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry at the Divinity School, Duke University. He is recently retired after serving eight years as Bishop of the North Alabama Conference of The United Methodist Church, where he led the 157,000 Methodists and 792 pastors in North Alabama. For twenty years prior to the episcopacy, he was Dean of the Chapel and Professor of Christian Ministry at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. Willimon is a graduate of Wofford College (B.A., 1968), Yale Divinity School (M.Div., 1971) and Emory University (S.T.D., 1973). He has served as pastor of churches in Georgia and South Carolina. For four years, beginning in 1976, he served as Assistant Professor of Liturgy and Worship at Duke Divinity School, teaching courses in liturgics and homiletics and served as Director of the Ministerial Course of Study School at Duke, and Presiding Minister in the Divinity School Chapel. When he returned to the parish ministry in 1980, he was Visiting Associate Professor of Liturgy and Worship at Duke for three years. He has been awarded honorary degrees from a dozen colleges and universities including Wofford College, Lehigh University, Colgate University, Birmingham-Southern College, and Moravian Theological Seminary. In 1992, he was named as the first Distinguished Alumnus of Yale Divinity School. He also serves on the faculties of Birmingham-Southern College as Visiting Distinguished Professor and as Visiting Research Professor at Duke Univeristy Divinity School.

He is the author of sixty books. His Worship as Pastoral Care was selected as one of the ten most useful books for pastors in 1979 by the Academy of Parish Clergy. Over a million copies of his books have been sold. In 1996, an international survey conducted by Baylor University named him one of the Twelve Most Effective Preachers in the English-speaking world.

His articles have appeared in many publications including The Christian Ministry, Quarterly Review, Liturgy, Worship and Christianity Today. He is Editor-at-Large for The Christian Century. He has served as Editor and Expositor (with his wife, Patricia) for Abingdon’s International Lesson Annual. He has written curriculum materials and video for youth, young adults, and adults. His Pulpit Resource is used each week by over eight thousand pastors in the USA, Canada, and Australia. A 2005 study by the Pulpit and Pew Research Center found that Bishop Willimon is the second most widely read author by mainline Protestant pastors.

William H. Willimon currently resides in Birmingham, in the state of Alabama.

William H. Willimon has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Belief Matters
  2. Horizons in Theology
  3. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary
  4. Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching & Preaching
  5. Pastor's Handbook
  6. Preaching About-- Series

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Pastoral Counseling
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Clergy > Preaching
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Pastoral Help > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Conversations with Barth on Preaching?

Required reading for preachers  May 8, 2007
Written by one of the best preachers in the US about one of the most important theologians of the 20th century, this book is an outstanding contribution to Barth studies. Too often thought of as a "theologian" in the negative sense of being too academic, Barth is often read only by "academics" who are interested in esoteric and obscure matters. The problem is, Barth's writing, although meaty and dense at times, is filled with a passion for the task of preaching. Much of Barth's life was spent wrestling (and often failing) at preaching and was the goal for his entire theological project.

This book centres around the practice of preaching in light of Barth's theology and makes the point that a good preacher is a good theologian. That is to preach is to bear witness faithfully to the gospel as God's free act in toward his creatures, not eloquent rhetoric (although Barth is good at that too, despite his dislike of it!).

Read and enjoy!
Skillful observations   May 5, 2007

If you are a well-versed student of Barth, you will find much in this book that will resonate, as the author (who must be one of the world's experts on the 20th century theologian by virtue of his lifelong love for the man and his message) provides skillful observations about what approach the preacher should take when preaching. If you are somewhat new to Barth, then do not fret, Willimon gives much background about his life and work to help you along at every page.

Dr. Willimon is used to addressing a well-educated audience and in this book we find him taking the high road of theological thinking and are glad of it. The book presents the main arguments supplemented in each case by indented additional material (all well worth reading--but the author says from the outset that one can read the book omitting these and have the whole thought presented). He also intersperses some of his own sermons to serve as illustrations of his hope to adhere to the precepts of Barth in moving from scripture to homely.

It is easy to draw ideas but hard to draw conclusions about this book because the reader is apt to return again and again to it, to see what else might be worthy of consideration for the preaching moment of next Sunday. This reader hopes to incorporate ideas expressed in this book in future, and looks forward to the feedback from the people in the pews. Other readers will probably want to do the same.

I only wish that Dr. Willimon had included some of Dr. Barth's sermons in translation that have not appeared in English heretofore. What an added treat that would have been.

Not long ago I watched contestants on a travel reality show as they tried to eat more than their share of a long link of sausage. This book reminds me of that. There is so much in it that is good, that you cannot hope to ingest, let alone digest it, quickly.

Indeed, if you are the kind of person who was told by your teacher never to write in your book, you are out of luck, for this work by Dr. Willimon is of a nature that fairly screams to be highlighted, underlined and asterisked. At the very least, you will go through a lot of sticky notes as you read.
Willimon on Barth on preaching...  Jan 26, 2007
I have been a pastor for 17 years and on a yearly basis try to read a collection of sermons (usually classic sermons from the Church Fathers), and a contemprary voice on preaching. This year I chose Willimon's book. Early in my calling, I was influenced by Barth's teaching on the Word of God as it was presented in His Dogmatics (I.1). I have long been an admirer of William Willimon as a preacher, and as he was writing on an early influence upon what I believe I am doing on a weekly basis, it seemed like a good fit. I have not been disappointed.

Willimon is an appreciative reader of Barth, but he is not uncritical. At many points he delares what Barth has to say, and then states where, in his view, Barth has gone to far. He is up front with his own theological inclinations, and does not hesitate to point out where Barth has mis-stated the case. Still, he is very much in agreement with what that great mind has to say about the task of speaking for God. I felt as if I was going on an intelectual journey of a great preacher being taught by a great theologian. Wonderful! I encourage all pastors and preachers who have an affinity to the thought of Karl Barth to pick this up.

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