PREACHING TO HEAD AND HEART by Thomas Swears ($19)*

ABG: 0-687-06830-4

Preachers have long been faced with two options. On the one hand, they can appeal to their congregation's intellect, teaching them the substance of the faith from the pulpit. On the other hand, they can seek to stir their hearers' emotions, wooing or warming them with the gospel. Usually we reserve these two forms of preaching for different tasks or audiences. If you are preaching an evangelistic message to the unchurched, then your preaching style will draw more heavily on the emotional aspects. If you are leading the faithful into a deeper grasp of the Christian message, then you will more likely draw on the intellectual components of preaching.

While most preachers know that the choice between the head and the heart is a false one, they often don't know how to bring the two together effectively. In this new book, Thomas Swears offers detailed, practical advice on how to preach to both head and heart. He shows how both emotions and intellect function any time one tries to convey meaning from the pulpit, regardless of the kind of message one is preaching. Without abandoning the conventional wisdom on evangelistic vs. teaching sermons, he nonetheless insists that preaching with integrity--in which the Word is truly embodied--will always involve the whole person and personality of both the preacher and the congregation.

"The encouragement offered here is a stimulating mix of substance and passion, of cognitive learnings and reflection on pastoral experience. The author is an enthusiastic, dependable fellow-traveler and guide." -- Richard L. Thulin, Editor, Homiletic, From the Foreword

"Preaching to Head and Heart is a book on preaching that is at once original in perspective, stimulating in content, and warm with the understanding of a fellow pilgrim on the arduous journey between head and heart. It is a journey that all who preach regularly make--within themselves, and between themselves and those in whose midst they have been called to minister to the Word. Thomas Swears writes gracefully (in every sense of the word) and helpfully out of his wide reading and his deep reflection on his own experience of that essential journey." -- Herman G. Stuempfle, Jr., Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Table of Contents


CHAPTER ONE: The Importance of the Head and Heart Connection
The Journey Begins
Ways of Knowing
Ways of Telling
Science, Art, or Craft?

CHAPTER TWO: The Person in the Pulpit: Integrity, Authenticity, and Authority in Preaching to Head and Heart

CHAPTER THREE: Valuing the Listener: Curiosity and Indefiniteness in Addressing the Head and Heart
Valuing the Listener
Being Curious
On Not Being Too Clear

CHAPTER FOUR: How to Develop the Head and Heart Connection
Listening to the Text: Silence
Engaging the Text: Method
Releasing the Text: Movement
Speaking the Text: Metaphor

CHAPTER FIVE: Communicating the Head and Heart Connection Effectively
The Importance of "How"
Principles of Effective Communication

CHAPTER SIX: Making the Connection
Preaching and Prayer
Sermon I: Grace-full Moments
Sermon II: You Shall be Mended

Postscript: The Preacher's Kitchen Work


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