Testimony: Talking Ourselves into Being Christian / Edition 1 available in Hardcover
From the time we wake up in the morning until we turn out the lights at night, we are talking. We talk into cell phones, across the office, and over meals. We talk to ourselves, to friends, to strangers, to those we love, and sometimes, whether we know it or not, even to God. Talk can be cheap, but talk can also be holy.
In this groundbreaking book, Thomas G. Longa theologian and respected authority on preachingexplores how Christians talk when they are not in church. Testimony breaks the stained-glass image of religious language to show how ordinary talking in our everyday livestalk across the backyard fence, talk with our kids, talk about politics and the events of the daycan be sacred speech. In a world of spin, slick marketing, mindless chatter, and easy deceptions, Testimony shows that the hunger for truthful, meaningful, and compassionate speech is ultimately grounded in truth about God.
Testimony takes on new territory in the examination of the way language shapes the experience, practice, and communal life of Christians. Using biblical sources as well as contemporary stories and compelling anecdotes, Long demystifies the often narrow understanding of Christian testimony as "churchy talk" reserved only for preachers and evangelists.
As Long explains, because Christianity is not merely doctrines or ideas but a whole way of living in the world, Christians are always "talking themselves into being Christian." When Christians honestly, passionately, and courageously tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, this way of speaking strengthens faith, deepens participation in the life of God, and, in fact, becomes a form of prayer.
About the Author
Thomas G. Long is Bandy Professor of Preaching, Candler School of Theology, Emory University. He is a former pastor and associate editor of the Journal for Preachers. Long is the author of fourteen books.
Table of Contents
|Part 1||The Hunger for Authentic God Talk||1|
|Chapter 1||Talking Ourselves into Being Christian||3|
|Chapter 2||Can I Get a Witness?||21|
|Chapter 3||Sunday Words||39|
|Part 2||Talking Through the Day||67|
|Chapter 4||First Light||69|
|Chapter 5||Walking the Walk, Talking the Talk||89|
|Chapter 6||Conversation over Lunch||109|
|Chapter 7||The Six O'Clock News||129|
|Chapter 8||Whispered Secrets and Bedtime Prayers||143|
|Epilogue: A Last Word||157|
What People are Saying About This
“This beautifully written book, which is full of graceful words for all the homely and holy moments of everyday Christian life, is not just for preachers. Every believer can deepen and expand her faith by speaking it to others, and Thomas G. Long shows us how.”
Barbara G. Wheeler, president, Auburn Theological Seminary
“When Thomas G. Long preaches, the congregation is immediately engaged. Other preachers in the congregation start taking notes. Here is one of the best contemporary preachers and teachers of preaching writing on the critical matter of talking about God and Christian faith, Christian practice in a world and at a time when such talk is mostly trivial at best. Long’s book is important and a rich resource for all of us.”
John Buchanan, editor and publisher, The Christian Century; pastor, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, Illinois
“In the rich vocabulary and cadence of his own speech, Thomas G. Long teaches us how to bring faith to speech in the everyday occurrences of life. One comes away from this book with an emboldened sense of how to speak of God in public places and spaces. Ever the innovative teacher, Long demonstrates for us once again why he belongs in the upper echelons of contemporary writers on matters of Christian faith and practice.”
Cleophus J. LaRue, Princeton Theological Seminary
"Thomas G. Long has long been one of our most effective Christian talkers, and now in this trenchant testimony, the harvest of a rich and provoking ministry, he helps us all the better to talk about our Christian faith. Never have we had a greater need for authentic discourse, nor have we ever been better served."
–The Reverend Professor Peter J. Gomes, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, Harvard University