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The Bible and Culture

Even before the expected time, my new book of sermons with Eerdmans, Incandescence has now come into print. This volume is a collaborative effort between Ellsworth Kalas, one of our homileticians who wrote the introductory essay on preaching, J.D. Walt the Dean of Chapel at Asbury, Julie Robertson, who has provided the spiritual formation exercises, and myself.

My contribution to the book besides the opening remarks is a fair selection of my sermons from the last 25 years of my preaching. Since in my tradition one preaches either the lectionary texts, or at the very least according to the season of the church year (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Kingdomtide) the sermons have been arranged according to the church year.

You will find if you read this brief book (only 200 pages, and inexpensive by modern standards) that I preach three different types of sermons– some basically doctrinal, some basically ethical, and some story or narrative sermons. Some of these border on expository sermons, some do not, as I have varied the practice depending on the audience. And I have deliberately included sermons that are works in progress, or better put on the way to being good sermons. Why have I done this? Well because I wanted to include sermons from the whole range of my preaching career, and of course there are some things I could say better or would say differently now. Hopefully a homiletician grows and changes.

You will discover that I preach from both testaments with regularlity, even though I do not believe we are under the old covenant any more. There is a difference then between recognizing the OT as God’s Word, and asking the question how does it apply and how should it be preached by Christians.

This volume is set up to be used for retreats, spiritual formation purposes, discussion seminars and the like, and the aim of course is to help you with your soul work— edification and education and exhortation. You will find various of my personal stories in these sermons as well, as you might expect.

I will be very interested to hear your reaction to this volume and to see whether you find it helpful. Let me know— when you can, if it was illuminating or even incandescent for you.

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