Company of Preachers

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Walter Brueggemann
"As constant and recurring as preaching is in the church, it is a practice that is endlessly inscrutable in its performance. In our time of peculiar bewilderment, the sermon is especially odd in its performance and in its possible impact. Richard Lischer's 'reader' on preaching is a reminder that we do not need to reinvent the wheel. Others before us and alongside us have thought well about the mystery of preaching. This valuable collection will benefit both beginners and veterans who may be at a point of rethinking. The representative voices in these pages invite such rethinking and make clear that preaching at its most faithful is not the property of any sect or perspective but stretches us all beyond our inclinations to the True Subject of such proclamation."

Thomas G. Long
"A marvelous collection of essays. Richard Lischer has assembled a roomful of sparkling intellects for a cracking good conversation about preaching. He gathers thinkers from across the ages and around the world and invites them to share their wisdom on every major preaching theme. The result is a dialogue that bristles with energy, refreshes our memories, stretches our minds, and whets our appetites for more."

Henry H. Mitchell
"A superbly selected and edited collection -- a marvelously rich resource for purposes of perspective as well as for insights into the homiletic artistry so greatly needed for preaching in the shifting cultural context of today."

Fleming Rutledge
"Richard Lischer is one of the most valuable people working in the church today. He has poured all of his knowledge and experience into this compendium of homiletical treasures. For those of us who still believe that the Word preached is the power of God, this volume will be a cherished companion in our libraries for many years to come. I can't imagine any preacher not wanting this rich resource."

Gardner C. Taylor
"With this volume Richard Lischer may claim clear title to being the most discerning and definitive chronicler and eulogist of the history of preaching in nearly a century. One would have to go back to 1905 and Edwin Charles Dargan to find a work that approaches the quality of The Company of Preachers, and Dargan's account admits that it concludes on 'the threshold of the modern world."

The Expository Times"A treasure house of homiletic wisdom! This superb collection can guide, inform and stimulate all who practice and value the Christian tradition of preaching, and who are concerned for its renewal today."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802846099
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Lischer is James T. and Alice Mead Cleland Professor of Preaching at Duke Divinity School. Before joining the Duke faculty, he served as pastor of Lutheran congregations in Illinois and Virginia. A graduate of Concordia Senior College and Concordia Seminary, he also holds an M.A. in English from Washington University in St. Louis and a Ph.D. in theology from the University of London. He is the author of numerous books on preaching, theology, and ministry, including A Theology of Preaching: The Dynamics of the Gospel and the prize-winning The Preacher King: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Word That Moved America. He is also the co-editor (with William Willimon) of the Concise Encyclopedia of Preaching. The story of his first pastorate, Open Secrets: A Memoir of Faith and Discovery, has been widely anthologized, and his most recent Eerdmans book, The Company of Preachers, was named Best Book in ministry in 2002 by Christianity Today. Professor Lischer and his wife live in Orange County, North Carolina.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: The Promise of Renewal
Epigraph: "Listen, Lord - A Prayer"
The Seventh Rung 3
Religious Discourse 8
Truth and Personality 15
The Primitive Preaching 23
The Proclaimed Word 31
Communicating the Gospel 38
Preaching 46
The Temptations of Greatness 57
The Parson Preaching 64
On the Making of the Preacher 69
My Call to Preach the Gospel 75
Pulpit Talent 83
The Great Army of Preaching Women 90
The Authority of the Preacher 98
Portrait of a Prophet 104
Proclamation versus Moralism 115
Preaching the Terrors 120
Mixing Law and Gospel 126
Preaching for Conversion 132
The I-Thou Encounter 142
Preaching as Celebration 149
Prophetic Energizing 156
Literal and Figurative Interpretation 169
The Fourfold Reading 182
The Letter and the Spirit 188
Is Exegesis without Presuppositions Possible? 196
World of God and Hermeneutics 204
The Hermeneutic Question 211
Contextual Hermeneutics 218
Performing the Scriptures 230
Feminist Uses of Biblical Materials 238
The Neglected Interpreters 248
A Hermeneutic of Trust 265
The Uses of Rhetoric 277
Ornamentation 293
The Art of Prophesying 298
Natural Communication 305
Rhetoric and Homiletics 311
Illustrations in Preaching 316
The New Utterance 324
Imagining a Sermon 331
Designing Moves 337
A Catalogue of Hearers 355
The Internal Testimony of the Spirit 362
Listening with the Heart 369
The Inner Turmoil of the Awakened 375
University Preaching 380
The Congregation 389
Preaching as Personal Counseling 395
By Way of the Hearer 401
The One Great Preacher 411
Power in a Pentecostal Congregation 417
Preaching, Revelation, and the Church 423
A Pastor's Last Homily 433
Preaching and Eucharist 443
Baptismal Speech 453
Building Up the Church 459
Acknowledgments 468
Index 471
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