Thursday, June 17, 2004

contemporary preaching

I am teaching this course in Semester 2, 2004;

Introduction: “Preaching in a postmodern world is a little like playing pin the tail on the donkey. A scarf has been draped over our eyes and we have been turned around and around. In the postmodern world, not only are we preaching blindfolded, but our target is moving. Just when the church was beginning to get used to the rules of the modern era, suddenly we find these rules have changed on us and even disappeared.” according to here.

Yet, The Lord of the Rings showed us that we can take ancient text and re-tell it for an image-eyed generation.

This course will explore some of the issues around preaching in a rapidly changing world of “txt” and “pxt” communication. It will take for granted skills in expository preaching, and deliberately seek to critically explore other ways to “txt” the Biblical text.

Course outline

The course has two main parts:

7 weeks teaching block (21, 28 July, 4, 11, 18, 25 August, 1 September)

Week 1 – text-ing in a pxt culture: the challenges for preaching today
We live in a visually orientated, sound-bited world suspicious of institution. This week will de-fragment modern notions of authority and suggest ways to re-align Christian notions of text, Spirit and tradition in community.

Week 2 – DJing with authority: Incarnation in text, texts, preacher and community
An approach to gospel and culture will be explored using the metaphor of the DJ. This will be applied to the task of preaching as the DJing of texts in Christian community.

Week 3 – txting the text: inductive, dialogical, case study, multiple approaches
We will explore a number of approaches to txting the text. These will include inductive, dialogical and case study approaches. Strengths and weaknesses will be outlined. Examples will be provided.

Week 4 – txting the text: Storytelling old and new
An exploration of the art of storytelling. This enables txting of both Biblical story and of finding God present in our lives.

Week 5- txting the text: emotional exegesis, Meditation/lectio divina, sensory engagement
We are made whole-bodied people. Our emotions and senses are a gift from God. A number of practical ways to use these gifts to both open up the text and present the text will be outlined.

Week 6 – txting the text: Curating the arts, the visual, the environment
Can creative arts preach? How to use the visual and tactile in preaching? How to modify and enhance our environment? This session will include input from creative guests.

Week 7 – creativity workshop
A workshop which will explore ways to enhance our creativity around the Biblical text.

(b) 3 week workshop (27 October, 3, 10 November)
Students will present assessment. This will continue the process of creative stimulation and critical reflection on txt-ing the text.

Note : Creative Commons license does not apply to this post. It is not allowed to be reproduced in any form without permission.

Posted by steve at 02:39 PM


  1. Mate, this looks really good. Well done.

    Comment by Paul Fromont — June 17, 2004 @ 5:20 pm

  2. Looks like a fun and exciting course. As an old fuddy duddy, I hope there will be some room to explore what being faithful to the text means, how do we spot when we are not being faithful? etc… I know that is something you do naturally Steve, but how wil you teach them?

    Comment by Tim — June 18, 2004 @ 10:12 am

  3. two quick comments Tim, first the course assumes skills re text through the pre-requisite of expository preaching
    second – the assessment includes 2 sermons and one of the criteria assessed is coherence with text.

    Comment by steve — June 18, 2004 @ 2:03 pm

  4. How can a South African join your lectures? Wish I could be part of something like this! I wrote an article on preaching at NEXTWaVe (last year October).

    Comment by Tom Smith — June 25, 2004 @ 10:34 pm

  5. thanx Tom,finker, on his blog made a similar comment – to which i replied “pray for a publisher.”

    Comment by steve — June 26, 2004 @ 8:48 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.