Preaching the Headlines : The Possibilities and Pitfalls of Addressing the Times

Preaching the Headlines : The Possibilities and Pitfalls of Addressing the Times


Preachers often feel stuck when met with quickly shifting and dense media topics that flood the headlines. If and when they determine it is appropriate to address issues that arise in the news cycle, they are often at a loss for how to speak about them from the pulpit. When preachers understand that a responsibility to sustain life is embedded in the purposes of preaching, they discover greater fluidity between the everyday world, the biblical text, and preaching itself. Preaching the Headlines reframes preaching as an ongoing conversation between the modern world and the world of the Bible, exploring where the divides between the two may be less rigid than we often acknowledge. The preacher uses what they know about life as a bridge to the text, while life in the text provides the bridge back to faith in the contemporary world.

The goal of the book is to help preachers do theological reflection on the everyday world as an integral part of sermon development. The process offered in this book is not a substitute for basic methods of sermon development nor a model of exegesis for preaching. Preachers will use this process as a supplement alongside their current method of sermon preparation. Before the preacher can ever translate the meaning embedded in the headlines, they have to learn more about the topics they seek to preach about. They do this by digging behind the headlines and expanding their own resources beyond theological traditions alone. This work is done in order to think earnestly about how faith might spur transformative action in our world for more just ways of living together.

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