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In this book, Henry H. Mitchell demonstrates how to use imagination, emotive expression and the sermon celebration to meet the emotional needs of the congregation. He shows how to use the sermon celebration within literary genres such as biblical narrative, biblical character sketch, and group study to involve hearer holistically in the sermons event. By synthesizing recent developments in homiletics with the best of the Afircan American pulpit tradition, Mitchell strives to open your eyes to fresh possibilities in the sermon. Helpful sample sermons from various preachers are provided.

"Henry Mitchell makes a case for preaching to the whole people - to feeling and intuition, as well as to reason. Then, he shows us how with sample sermons of different genres. An important book for anyone who would preach the Gospel." - David G. Buttrick, Professor of Homiletics and Liturgics, Vanderbilt University.

"What Henry Mitchell writes about preaching has been tested on the road for more than half a century and refined in the classroom for half that time. The wisdom and insights he shares have been exposed to loving critique by scores of his students, ministerial colleagues, and teachers of preaching. In addition to his professorial responsibilities, he has been at the center of an informal dialogue on preaching with friends and acquaintances from a wide cross-section of denominations and regions of the country.

"I have enjoyed membership in both the formal and the informal sections of Mitchell's academy of homiletics. His Black Preaching (Harper & Row, 1979) helped me to affirm with pride gifts I had inherited from a vibrant African American homiletical tradition. His mentoring in the Martin Luther King, Jr., Black Church Studies Program at Colgate Rochester Divinity School deepened my understanding of the unique contribution Black preaching could make for the empowerment of the broader ministry of the Word.

"As a professor of homiletics in a predominantly White seminary, I found that Mitchell's Recovery of Preaching provided an invaluable enrichment of perspective, when used with the bibliography of the guild. His work has a way of identifying issues largely neglected by others in the field, or at least of making much clearer those issues they often fail to emphasize.

"Drawing upon his earlier volumes, Mitchell picks up the themes of celebration and 'movements in consciousness,' and expands upon the why and the how of these elements in the preaching task. He gives specific instructions on how to move from lackluster communication to superlative proclamation, which gets the hearers 'on board' in the dynamic of the biblical story. He shows how a commitment to engaging the whole person--spirit, intuitive mind, and emotive consciousness--increases the prospect that the preaching event will be a transformative experience.

"Whereas Mitchell's earlier works emphasized the Black church tradition almost exclusively as his primary source, this book acknowledges that the evangelical preaching tradition, shared by Blacks as well as Whites, has drawn from various streams to perfect a broad preaching profile. Thus one will experience this effort as a bridge across the ethnic abyss, bringing fresh strength to all who engage in the exchange. This work will break open new possibilities for those who have viewed preaching for so long as primarily a rationalistic enterprise. At the same time it will share with the opposite group a set of terms and disciplines with which to refine and focus the marvelous powers of a folk tradition.

"Finally, let's give Henry Mitchell, the dean of imaging and the hearers' identification, his due. We are the recipients of his more than fifty years' labor of love to tell us what the great preachers of time all along have been saying by way of their sermons: 'The people' need a picture from God to take with them on their journey; 'the people' need to hear from your mouth that you have translated with your head the issues that flow through the hearts of humanity. Without minimizing the crucial significance of the cognitive dimension, Mitchell effectively questions the adequacy of theories and practices of proclamation that bow down at the altar of the enlightenment, passing over the Puritan piety of heartfelt religion. Mitchell not only calls for a proper balance of head, heart, and hands; he shows us how to do it. The cure for the 'common coldness' that attends too much preaching has been made available in our lifetime. Our thanks be to God the giver and to Henry Mitchell the distributor. I expect many preachers to discover in the pages that follow the clue to a quality of delivery that will turn the experience into a very powerful occasion of celebration." - (from the Foreword by JAMES A. FORBES, JR., Pastor, Riverside Church, New York City)

Henry Mitchell was Professor of Homiletics and History and Dean of the School of Theology at Virginia Union University. He was the founder and director of the Ecumenical Center for Black Church Studies in Los Angeles. He has taught at Colgate Rochester Divinity School and teh Interdenominational Theological Center.

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