The Big Howdy 
– Pronouncing city names
– Nathan has (almost) recovered
– Listener feedback
– Facebook etiquette

What Is Preaching?
The kerygma
Proclamation of an act of God
– Varying and changing forms

A Representative Sermon
– Economical depth
– Concentration and attention
– The twist ending

Representative Sermons
– Jonathan Edwards responds to the skeptics
– The Halfway Covenant
– The unsettling role of a sermon
– Lancelot Andrewes’s Christmas sermon
– Francis preaches to the birds
– Spurgeon converts (and smokes)

How to Write a Sermon
– Nathan’s own process
– Rewriting (are you listening, Freshman Comp students?)
– Lectionary posts
– Judging the quality

Sermon Notes
– Why not take them?
– The difference between a sermon and a lecture
– Sermon as organic experience
– A-hootin’ and a-hollerin’

– Good news for anxious preachers
– The self-help sermon
– Counter-imagination
– Chrysostom talks back
– Cheap grace
– Sermon vs. dialogue

– Sermon jokes
– The abandonment of the sermon
– The Neo-Calvinist danger

5 thoughts on “The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #88: Sermons”
  1. And here I thought I was the only one who missed half of any given sermon due to a tendency to disappear into head-space to mull a specific point.

  2. This from George Herbert’s poem “The Temple”:Judge not the preacher; for he is thy Judge:If thou mislike him, thou conceiv’st him not.God calleth preaching folly. Do not grudgeTo pick out treasures from an earthen pot.         The worst speak something good: if all want sense,         God takes a text, and preacheth patience.

  3. …the lineation didn’t come out right, so here it is again:
    Judge not the preacher, for he is thy Judge:
    If thou mislike him, thou conceiv’st him not.
    God calleth preaching folly. Do not grudge
    To pick out treasures from an earthen pot. 
          the worst speak something good: if all want sense,
          God takes a text, and preacheth patience.

  4. Still catching up, selectively. Just thought I’d make a quick comment on sermons.
    I’ve been on the last two call committees at the Lutheran church I attend, and I’m a PK–that’s my background, in part. In the Lutheran church we’ve kind of stopped the old practice of secretly visiting another church to hear a preacher, or inviting a candidate to our church for a guest sermon. Seems like the preacher’s preaching ought to be important, but here’s my perspective. A pastor is more than a preacher. If my pastor is a great preacher, but whenever I call I find that he’s too busy to talk, or that he’s playing a round of golf at the country club, or even if I have the sense that the pastor doesn’t really listen to me or doesn’t really care, then I’m going to stop caring about what a great preacher he is.
    But if he’s a so-so preacher, but I know he cares about the people in the congregation, I’m probably going to pay attention despite his lack of preaching brilliance, because I know that he knows what we need from week to week.
    In other words, preaching is a kind of relationship, at least in the parish. If I’m looking for a really good one-timer, maybe I can turn to one of those dynamic preachers, but from week to week, I’m looking for a pastor who knows me and cares about me.
    But maybe that’s just me.

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