What is the foundation of good preaching? How should preachers prepare themselves to faithfully and effectively address the church? And, just as importantly, what ought congregants, who come to church to hear a word from God, hope for from their preachers? These are often asked - and often answered - questions. But Robert Farrar Capon tackles them with a freshness and a frankness that make both the questions and the answers new.
In Part I of the book, The Bedrock of Preaching, Capon discusses how essential it is to have "a passion for the Passion' (to believe passionately in the Good News of salvation in Christ), how to overcome the stumbling blocks to genuinely accepting grace, and how to relinquish a false sense of control over our salvation. This part of the book also has important things to say to those of us who listen to sermons and who took to the pulpit for words of grace and hope that are truly meaningful to our lives today.
In Part 2, The Practice of Preaching, Capon concentrates on the mechanics of preaching in anything but a mechanical way. He begins by discussing the ingredients of preaching, emphasizing the importance of not just reading but really hearing the Word in the original Greek and Hebrew, and offers some pointed comments on the Common Lectionary. He then goes on to illustrate how to preach effectively from notes, giving specific, day-by-day suggestions for preparation. He also shows, using the full text of one of his sermons as an example, how to preach from a more fully written manuscript and explains how to move from first notes to final notes for a sermon, again using some of his own notes as an example.
In Capon's creative hands these instructions are not just a nuts-and-bolts exercise; they are lively, challenging lessons in preaching that, for all their practical advice, never lose touch with the center of preaching and belief - the astonishing grace of Jesus Christ.
ROBERT FARRAR CAPON is an Episcopal priest and the author of many popular books published by Eerdmans, including The Mystery of Christ, The Romance of the Word, The Astonished Heart, and a trilogy on Jesus' parables - The Parables of the Kingdom, The Parables of Grace, and The Parables of Judgment.
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