Preaching is like the blurred image of a mountain on the bosom of the French teacher – A Preaching Parable

text-message-preaching-scripture-in-the-multimedia-age-by-ian-stackhouse-0718842634I am currently reading a great little book edited by Ian Stackhouse and Oliver Crisp about preaching, called Text Message – The Centrality of Scripture in Preaching, and can be found by those who seek!

It is a collection of essays by thirteen writers, each contributing to the book within its three main categories:

Part 1:  Biblical and Theological

Part 2:  Historical

Part 3: Textual

It really is a wonderful collection and should be on every homiletics course reading list in our colleges and universities, not to mention the shelves of ministers and preachers alike.

In any case, there is much to say about this book, but I was re-reading the foreward by Thomas G. Long, a professor of preaching  at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, USA.  I was struck by a story he told of a preacher (James A. Wharton) remembering his French teacher from school and how it related to preaching:

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Re-animating the Scandal of the Cross

This July day-conference looks very tasty indeed!

With thanks to Robin Parry over at Theological Scribbles for flagging this up.

The flyer for this one day event can be seen here.

It is a day conference on Saturday 19th July 2014 9.30am-4.30pm, hosted by Ian Stackhouse, minister at Millmead Baptist Church, Guildford in Surrey.  Ian is the one who alerted my attention towards P. T. Forsyth, a pastor-theologian  who has featured somewhat on this blog, and I think Robin is absolutely right to call Ian a “modern-day pastor-theologian after the fashion of P. T. Forsyth.”

The conference has come about as the result of a co-authored publication (Ian Stackhouse and Oliver Crisp):

Text Message: The Centrality of Scripture in Preaching Text Message

The main speaker for the event is Dave Hansen, friend of Ian and author of ‘The Art of Pastoring‘ a very helpful book to anyone in pastoral ministry and one I 95% enjoyed (maybe I could corner Mr Hansen and discuss my “5% quibble” with him)!

In any case, here’s the blurb on the flyer:

“Squarely in the middle of the Good News stands the cross, a life-giving, polemical, theological symbol, necessary to truly Christian preaching. However, we live in a day in which the cross has become, for many inside and outside of the church, an inert, commonplace token. To preach it effectively today, we need to re-animate the scandal that it was in New Testament times. In so doing, we release its power to offend, save, renew, and realign our lives with the call of Christ.”