Surviving a Dangerous Sermon

Surviving a Dangerous Sermon

by Frank A. Thomas

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Preachers increasingly see the need for to deliver sermons that are "dangerous" in a variety of ways, the way they challenge hearers' comfort levels and challenge established powers and hierachies. Thomas helps readers understand those dangers—especially the forces of power and hierarchy that are so intrinsic in our everyday lives and in society as a whole. He teaches how to anticipate and navigate those forces, to open opportunities for dangerous preaching, and to mitigate negative impact on congregants, the preacher, and the preacher-congregation relationships. 

Surviving a Dangerous Sermon is a logical follow-up to Thomas's previous book, How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon.It equips preachers to say what must be said, in a way that it is heard, so that the sermon has a chance to do its work on human hearts, without negative consequences.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501896552
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication date: 04/07/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 763 KB

About the Author

Frank A. Thomas, PhD, serves as the Director of the PhD Program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric and the Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Homiletics at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana. Thomas is the author of How to Preach a Dangerous Sermon and Introduction to the Practice of African American Preaching, released by Abingdon Press respectively, February, 2018 and November 2016.

Table of Contents

Foreword Teresa Fry Brown xi

Introduction: What Really Is a Dangerous Sermon? xvii

Moral Imagination and Empathy xxiii

The Church and Moral Imagination xxv

Imaginative Flow and Summary of Surviving a Dangerous Sermon xxvi

Chapter 1 The Working Gospel and the Bridge Paradigm 1

Contemporary Working Gospels in the American Context 4

Preachers and Their Working Gospels 9

The Bridge Paradigm 10

Your Haters Are Your Elevators 14

Chapter 2 The Mystery of the Gospel and the Prophetic Messiah 19

Apostle Paul's Working Gospel: The Message of the Cross 20

The Finitizing of Popular Religion 21

The Bridge Paradigm and the Mystery of the Gospel 24

Luke's Working Gospel: The Prophetic Messiah 30

Chapter 3 The Unconscious Moral Worldview and the Dangerous Sermon 37

The Nation as Family Metaphor 39

Cognitive Science and the Unconscious 40

John as the Model Citizen of the Conservative Worldview 44

Kathy as the Model Citizen of the Progressive Worldview 48

Conservative and Liberal Demons 52

Conservative and Liberal Christianity 55

Dual Moral Orders and Preaching Dangerous Sermons 56

Bridging into My Moral Worldview 59

Chapter 4 "Something Must Be Done": A Rhetorical Reading of Rev. Jasper Williams Jr.'s Eulogy of Aretha Franklin 65

The Press Conference Announcing the Eulogist 68

A Close Reading of "Aretha: The Queen of Soul" 71

Movement 1 Opening Hymn and Subject 72

Movement 2 God Crowned Aretha Franklin the Queen of Soul 73

Movement 3 Challenge to the Black Community to Regain Its Soul 74

Movement 4 Rev. C. L. Franklin's Love for His Daughter 76

Movement 5 Celebration and R-E-S-P-E-C-T 79

Public Reaction to the Eulogy 81

The Press Conference Following the Eulogy 85

Bridging Moral Worldviews 88

Chapter 5 Practical Suggestions and Two Dangerous Sermons 95

Prophetic Discourse in the Public Square 97

Practical Suggestions on Preaching Dangerous Sermons 101

Every Sermon Cannot Be Dangerous 101

A Dangerous Sermon and an Already Difficult Relationship 103

False Separation between Dangerous Sermons and Pastoral Care 104

A Dangerous Sermon and "Getting Stuff Off Your Chest" 105

The Dangerous Sermon and Intellectual Sloppiness 106

Build a Ramp for People First 108

Preaching as a Guest or Associate Minister 110

Be Prepared for Resistance 110

Get Your Bible and Go to the Sanctuary 112

Two Dangerous Sermons 113

"Closing the Great Chasm" (Luke 16:19-31 NIV) 113

"Get Home Safe" (Genesis 4:11-16 NIV) 123

Enhancing Your Preaching of Dangerous Sermons 131

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