The Future of Preaching

In the world of homiletics, not much has changed since Charles Wesley delivered monological sermons.

I’m sitting in the Buckhead Theater in Atlanta, about the take the stage with Doug Pagitt to talk about the future of preaching. We’re at the Festival of Homiletics, the premier conference about traditional preaching. The program is basically sermon-lecture-sermon-lecture. A person preaches, then later they give a lecture about what they were trying to do in their sermon. There’s also some singing peppered in between.

As you might guess, Doug and I will be delivering a different message.

We live in the most highly educated society and the most highly participatory culture in the history of humankind. Everything around us has changed: the clothes we wear, the way we transport ourselves, how we communicate.

And yet, 99% of preachers stand up on Sunday morning and deliver a monologue. A soliloquy.

And their churches decline. And they wring their hands.

There is another way. There is a way of participation and inclusion and dialogue and conversation.

That’s what Doug and I will propose this morning.

I wonder if anyone will listen.

You Are Hereby Granted Permission to Evolve on Same Sex Marriage

“Do not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same: leave it to our bureaucrats and our police to see that our papers are in order. At least spare us their morality when we write.”

-Michel Foucault
The Archaeology of Knoweldge

The greatest thinkers change, their thinking evolves. Augustine changed as his theological career progressed — the Augustine of the Confessions is not the same as Bishop Augustine. Some think he changed for the better, I happen to think he changed for the worse.

One could argue that Paul changed, if you read his letters chronologically.

People parse the “early Wittgenstein” and the “late Wittgenstein,” because the greatest philosopher of language of the 20th century changed his mind. The same could be said of any number of great thinkers between Augustine and Wittgenstein.

[Read more...]

Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic School Lives Up to Its Name

Freshman Paige Sultzbach plays second base for Mesa Prep. A Catholic School won't play against her because she's a girl.

Catholicism in America seems to continue is quest for irrelevance via misogyny. This from CNN:

Baseball final forfeited because of girl at second base

The Arizona Charter Athletic Association state championship baseball game wasn’t played Thursday night because Mesa Prep’s second baseman is a girl.

Paige Sultzbach, a freshman, is playing baseball because her high school doesn’t offer girls softball. But the school Mesa Prep was to face in the final, Our Lady of Sorrows Academy, said its boys would not compete against a team with a girl and forfeited the game – and the state title – to Mesa Prep.

“As a Catholic school, we promote the ideal of forming and educating boys and girls separately during the adolescent years, especially in physical education,” Our Lady of Sorrows said in a statement, according to CNN affiliate KTVK.

“It takes tremendous moral courage to stand by what it is you believe, and they are doing what they think is right,” Mesa Prep Headmaster Robert Wagner told KTVK.

But Sultzbach’s mother, Pamela Sultzbach, said her daughter and the Mesa Prep team were being done a disservice.

“This is not a contact sport. It shouldn’t be an issue. It wasn’t that they were afraid they were going to hurt or injure her, it’s that (they believe) that a girl’s place is not on a field,” Pamela Sultzbach told the Arizona Republic.

“I respect their views, but it’s a bit out of the 18th century,” Amy Arnold, Mesa Prep’s athletic director, told the Republic.

Mesa Prep and Our Lady of Sorrows played twice during the regular season, but Sultzbach sat out, as they were away games for her team.

“It was on their field, and I felt the need to respect their rules,” she told KTVK.

The final would have been on a neutral field, and Sultzbach wanted to play.

Now, despite being hailed as state champions, Mesa Prep will feel like they’ve missed something, Pamela Sultzbach said.

“This team has worked so hard,” she said. “They’re undefeated. They had one game left. At our school, we’re taught that when you start something, you complete it, and they weren’t done.”

via Baseball final forfeited because of girl at second base – This Just In – CNN.com Blogs.

A Liberal, Gay Cleric Defends Campus Crusade

Peter Gomes (1942-2011)

It seems that the late Peter Gomes stared down the administration at Harvard University when they tried to oust an evangelical campus group. Gomes won.

Now, Vanderbilt is attempting to do something similar to Cru (the new name for Campus Crusade), and Cru’s defenders are invoking Gomes’s memory in their defense.

From Bob Smietana at the Tennessean:

When Vanderbilt wanted its freshmen students to learn about ethics, the school turned to the late Rev. Peter Gomes to teach them. Gomes’ book, The Good Life, was required reading for the Vanderbilt class of 2015.

Now some critics of Vanderbilt’s nondiscrimination policy hope the school will turn to Gomes, a Harvard professor who died last year, once again.

In 2003, a Christian group at Harvard called the Harvard-Radcliffe Christian Fellowship ran afoul of that school’s nondiscrimination policy because it required its leaders to hold specific beliefs.

Harvard’s administration told the group to change its ways or leave campus. But Gomes, a professor and minister of the Memorial Church at Harvard, defended the student group, saying the university was discriminating against it.

“How can a profession of faith be irrelevant in the leadership of a faith-based group?” he wrote in a 2003 letter to the Harvard Crimson, the university’s student newspaper.

Read the rest: Foes of Vanderbilt’s nondiscrimination policy point to Harvard | The Tennessean | tennessean.com.


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