Sermons should be arguments

I agree with Stanley Hauerwas, “I believe sermons should be arguments” (Hannah’s Child). I’ve never thought of it this way, but I can’t agree more. Upon reflection sermons with the most impact, those that caused me to think and to live differently are those that contained a robust argument; one’s that argued a theological idea and its implication for life. Preachers, make compelling arguments from pulpits (and music stands) this weekend!

 

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  • Andy Rowell

    Yes, this reminds me of something I have been mulling over that Hauerwas says. He likes to say: “It’s persuasion all the way down.” and when he says that, it’s a compliment. He is adamantly opposed to “violence” but he is all for “persuasion.” (I think “persuasion” is close to what hit you that sermons should be an “argument.”) There is a way of (unchristianly) moving toward “violence” from “persuasion” where one manipulates and lies to get one’s way–also “argument” can become “argumentative” and “abusive.” So “love” and “truth” have also to be brought to bear to reign in unfettered persuasion or argument. (Hauerwas is my advisor).

  • Mark Farmer

    Beautiful! Thank you.

  • x x

    Yes indeed!