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Showing posts from August, 2016

Church: 19a. How to Choose a Church: Preaching

One thing everyone looks for when looking for a church is good preaching.  It may be the first thing people look for, although few people can easily say which they weigh more of preaching, worship, music, fellowship, ministry, and mission when looking for a ‘good’ church.  I want to offer some thoughts along the line of what constitutes a ‘good’ church, starting with preaching.  Of all the ways one could classify different preaching, I want to use the old distinction in classical rhetoric of ‘logos’ (reason) for forensic speaking (expository preaching), ethos (authority) for deliberative speaking (topical preaching), and ‘pathos’ (emotion) for epideictic speaking (occasional preaching—here discussed as story-telling) to identify three broad categories for preaching.  Of course, a sermon my combine these forms, so the distinction is more about emphasis.
Three Types of Preaching:
1. The Expositor: Expository preaching is preaching that teaches the Scriptures.  The sermon wil…

Mission as Theological Education in Africa: 3. A Changing of the Guard in Theological Education for Mainline Denominations

Decline in mainline, Protestant denominations in the West is matched by decline in their theological seminaries.  We still live in a day when mainline theological seminaries in the West see themselves as superior to Evangelical theological seminaries in the West (which is demonstrably inaccurate even on agreed criteria of academic strengths).  We also live in a day when seminaries in the West see themselves as far superior to theological education outside the West—which raises questions about the criteria used for ‘superiority’. Even just a cursory look at the numbers, though, shows the need to ask the question, ‘Who is going to carry theological education forward in the 21st century?’  Putting questions about orthodoxy and health aside, the numbers themselves show that churches outside the West, like Evangelical churches in the West, are being put into the position of leadership in theological education and ministerial training in Protestantism.
The Episcopal Church in A…