Preaching to a Church in Crisis: A Homiletic for the Last Days of the Mainline Churchby John Killinger, Deborah Davies
The title of John Killinger's newest book,Preaching To A Church In Crisis, is meant to underline the uniqueness of the present situation in mainline Protestantism, and perhaps the urgency of it, but not to sensationalize it. He makes the point that inasmuch as the mainline churches for so many years established the social and political norms in our country, as well as the spiritual norms, any crisis in their existence becomes a major crisis in modern Christendom, and, by extension, in American life as a whole.
In the opening chapters of the book Killinger creates a general understanding of the malaise now affecting our churches. He then extrapolates from that understanding a sense of the moods and feelings affecting the people in America's congregations. Answering the question of what influence the disintegration of the mainline church has on the psyche of the persons attending these congregations, he places the preacher in a better position for thinking about preaching and what its hallmarks must be in order to speak truly and effectively for the gospel in our time.
I don't think I'm tipping my hand to say that preachers have not faced such challenges, or lived in such a tumultuous era, since the days of the Reformation itself when a similar series of shocks and stresses occurred in the history and culture of the world. Then, a revolution of far-reaching and deeply felt consequences produced radical changes in the life of the church and in the way many preachers came to understand their calling and their craft.... The fundamentalist and traditionalist voices attempting to reinforce the dogmas and emphases of an earlier age, sincere and faithful as they may be, do no service to the church or the world at this point in what is transpiring.(from author introduction)
Though anguish fills these pages at times, the profound and hope-filled review of the themes and factors Killinger feels necessary to turn the tide will inspire and motivate the modern preacher. This is one of the most forceful and insightful books on preaching and the modern day church to appear in years.
John Killinger, one of the best known preachers and teachers of preachers in America, has pastored churches In Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia, and California. He has taught preaching, worship, and literature at Vanderbilt Divinity School, Princeton Theological Seminary, The University of Chicago, and the School of Theology at Claremont. His bookThe Fundamentals Of Preachingis widely used as a textbook in preaching.
- CSS Publishing
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