Out of more than forty years of preaching, Massey offers insight and reflection that will remind, inform, stimulate, and encourage all who bear the necessary and perennial responsibility to prepare and to preach the Word.
"This book is an expanded treatment of the William E. Conger Lectures on Biblical Preaching, given in 1995 at Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, in Birmingham, Alabama.
"The substance of this book treats the privileged task of preaching, with particular focus on pulpit work as the preacher experiences it.
"The mind and mood of our times can be summed up in that inclusive word experience, a word that reflects our awareness of the multiple effects of life upon us and the wide range of our contacts and resultant impressions. We use the word so readily, sometimes preceded by a modifying adjective or adverb to show its many-sidedness, as when we speak about having had a good or bad experience or of some experience as a memorable, meaningful, or life-changing one. We speak about an experience as valid, valuable, hazardous, problematic, painful, or treasured. The word experience fits our human condition quite well, and the many adjectives or adverbs we associate with it all testify that we have lived, perceived, and understood some personal happening in a certain way.
"In this treatment of the pulpit experience, some reflections are offered about the content and context of this 'happening,' which involves both preacher and hearers in a deeply personal and eternally meaningful way. In the chapters offered here, attention is given first to the preacher's sense of the inward side of the task, and next to the outward side of preaching. The focus then shifts to a consideration of the desired togetherness that earnest preachers seek to experience with their hearers, followed by some reflections on the kind of planning necessary for the eventfulness that preaching was ordained by God to effect.
"In preparing this book I have sifted my thoughts after almost fifty years of pulpit experiences, as well as the thoughts and experiences of many other preachers. I pray that what I have traced in writing here will stimulate, remind, inform, and encourage others who bear the necessary and perennial responsibility to prepare and to preach.
"Last of all, it should be reported that chapter 5 is a sermon that was delivered to fellow members of the Academy of Homiletics, assembled for the closing worship service of the 1994 annual meeting, held at Duke University Divinity School. In keeping with the Advent season, I preached about the person and work of Jesus, the central figure of our faith. Not long afterward, I used the sermon again during an all-university chapel service." - from the Preface by James Earl Massey.
James Earl Massey is Dean Emeritus and Distinguished Professor-at-Large at Anderson University School of Theology in Anderson, Indiana. For forty years, Dr. Massey has been an extraordinary preacher, teacher, and communicator of the gospel. He served as the Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Church, Detroit, Michigan (1954-76); the Campus Minister of Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana (1969-77); a speaker on the "Christian Brotherhood Hour" radio broadcast (1977-82); Dean of the Chapel of Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama (1984-90); and Preacher-in-Residence of Park Place Church of God, Anderson, Indiana (1994-95). He has preached and lectured at more than a hundred colleges, universities, and seminaries in the United States and on four continents. He is a life trustee of Asbury Theological Seminary and sits on the editorial boards of Christianity Today, Leadership, Preaching, and The New Interpreter's Bible. His published works include The Responsible Pulpit and Designing the Sermon. Sharing Heaven's Music, a collection of essays written by his colleagues in honor of Dr. Massey, is also available.
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