Tag: preaching

Summary: The Parable of the Dishonest Manager is notoriously difficult to interpret. But before we rush into the task of figuring out why Jesus praises a thief, we should remember that his parables frequently shake up our assumptions about right and wrong, and about rational and irrational behaviors. The dishonest manager deserves preachers’ attention for many reasons. One of these is the urgency that motivates him and causes him to set all other concerns aside. Preaching has a similar urgency that demands preachers act in ways that can appear subversive. The gospel we preach likewise can look irresponsible, dangerous, and contrary to our culture’s standards of respectability.

I wrote this article for those preparing to preach or hear sermons on Luke 16:1-13. It was originally a guest contribution to the “Dear Working Preacher” series. Read the full article at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers workingpreacher.org commentary

Summary: The book of Acts can prompt us to ask what makes for authentic Christian witness, rooted in the discoveries and amazement of Easter. Acts describes Jesus’ followers as his “witnesses” (Acts 1:8), and their words and activities help us reflect on the various ways in which we enact or speak testimony about the new realities God has declared. Preachers who work with Acts during Easter might look at the lectionary’s assigned texts as examples of how believers can understand who they are and what they do.

Read the full article at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers

Summary: The Gospel according to Luke presents preachers with challenges. While some passages announce earth-shattering change and societal upheaval taking place through the coming of Jesus Christ, the narrative’s rhetoric calls believers to participate in transformation that comes slowly, one relationship at time. Preaching this Gospel faithfully, especially in our era of anxiety, frustration, and polarization, requires us to pay attention to how salvation emerges over the course of Jesus’ ministry.

Read the full article at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers workingpreacher.org commentary

Some of the Gospel according to Luke’s most prominent passages describe salvation in terms of utterly transformed sociopolitical values and realities. The energy expressed in those texts’ grand and far-reaching assertions can be difficult to see in the rest of Luke unless interpreters pay attention to the ways Jesus dismantles the tools and ethos of dominance in the more intimate settings of his public ministry. For preachers and teachers who lead others through Luke one passage at a time, interpreting the whole Gospel narrative with those big promises in view is essential.

Read the full article, which was published in the October 2018 issue of the online journal Currents in Theology and Mission.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers Journal articles

Summary: The book of Acts depicts daring communities of faith. They dare because, in various ways, they open themselves up to defying or surpassing the limits imposed by the status quo. Preachers who work with Acts during Easter might look at the lectionary’s assigned texts as examples of how believers bear witness (following Jesus’ words, “You will be my witnesses,” in Acts 1:8) to the new realities that God makes possible as a result of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension.

Read the full article at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers

Summary: The Acts of the Apostles often proves to be a challenging book for preachers. Acts contains so many larger-than-life stories that it can leave congregations incredulous and dismayed. In this article I offer advice for preaching from Acts. Preachers do well to embrace the wonder, adventure, and hyperbole that pulses through Acts, for those features are part and parcel of the book’s attempts to celebrate God’s commitment to bringing new realities into being. Acts is a book whose mood matches the magnificent claims of Easter. It is a book that aims to unleash imagination. In doing so, it provides a vital counterbalance for our more cautious and prudent tendencies. It corrects us when we mistake the status quo for God’s true intentions for humanity’s flourishing.

Read the full article at Working Preacher.

Bible commentary: preachers & teachers

Summary: There are preachers who are apprehensive about broaching social and political issues in their sermons, especially during times in which polarization abounds. How does a commitment to biblical preaching equip those preachers to speak convincingly about the gospel’s implications for the church’s witness and Christians’ public priorities? This article offers three suggestions for preachers who seek ways to make connections.

Read the full article at Working Preacher.

Christianity and culture

Summary: Familiar biblical texts, especially those that appear each year in a lectionary, often pose challenges for preachers. How might our sermons encourage people to explore new dimensions of these well known passages?

This video was prepared for those who preach or teach. Watch it at Working Preacher.

Videos on preaching

Summary: In this video, Peter Wallace, host of Day1, interviews me about the Bible, preaching, and the creativity involved in bringing people into a meaningful engagement with scripture.

Watch this video at Day 1.

Videos on preaching

Summary: Children’s sermons are tougher than they look. How can preachers do a better job of using these to speak authentically to the young people in their congregations?

This video was prepared for those who preach or teach. Watch it at Working Preacher.

Videos on preaching