Sermons

Resting to Preach: A Biblical—Theological Evaluation of Rest Toward the Preparation of Sermons

Author
Stephen Trent Thomas M.Div.
Abstract
Abstract

Resting to Preach: A Biblical—Theological Evaluation of Rest
Towards the Preparation of Sermons


This project will argue that, because deliberate rest is restorative to the intellect and to creativity, and because preaching preparation is a creative and intellectual endeavor, preachers should intentionally incorporate deliberate rest into their sermon-preparation process. The writer will explore the biblical basis for rest using six passages of Scripture. Genesis 2:1-3 and Exodus 20:8-11 will establish the importance of Sabbath rest. Psalm 19 will describe rest as one experiences nature. Matthew 11:25-30 will reveal the rest Jesus promises to those who are weak and heavy-laden. Mark 6:30-44 will develop the rest Jesus provides to His followers when they become overwhelmed with ministry. Hebrews 3:18-4:13 will explore the rest promised to the obedient.
The writer will present research from scientific sources. Rest, Why You Get More Done When You Work Less by Alex Sooing-Kim Pang, The Wandering Mind by Michael Corbalis, In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honoré, and The Secret World of Sleep by Penelope Lewis are the sources that will reveal the value of sleep to the intellect and to human creativity.
The writer will survey Christian authors to provide biblical insight into the value of sleep. These books are Saints’ Everlasting Rest by Richard Baxter, The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan, The Art of Rest by Adam Mabry, Subversive Sabbath by A. J. Swoboda, and The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer. These authors accentuate the necessity of rest for the follower of Jesus.
The project’s goal is to help preachers improve their preaching by adding various forms of rest during their sermon-preparation process.

SACRAMENTAL IMAGINATION: A LUTHERAN APPROACH TO THE ANALOGICAL/DIALECTICAL DIVIDE IN PREACHING

Author
Todd Arthur Peperkorn D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis answers the question of whether there can be a Lutheran sacramental imagination for preaching. It begins with an overview of the history of preaching in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS), especially since the move into English in the 1920s. This history traces how the LCMS has largely adopted the New Homiletic, but has not reflected critically on how its own theological hermeneutic integrates with the New Homiletic, and what relationship this may have to sacramental preaching.

Beginning with definitions of a dialectic imagination and a sacramental/ analogical imagination from David Tracy and Mary Catherine Hilkert, it examines the roots of the sacramental imagination in the works of Edward Schillebeeckx, particularly his early book, Christ the Sacrament of the Encounter with God. It then compares this with the writings of Richard Eslinger, Hans Boersma, and Graham Hughes.

Next the thesis attempts to reconcile a sacramental imagination with a Lutheran hermeneutic. The most successful attempt for this has been in the writing and work of Lutheran Gordon Lathrop. While there are some concerns regarding a dialectic counterbalance, a Lutheran sacramental imagination that takes both the distinction of Law and Gospel and the place of grace begins to emerge.

The ministerial intervention was a seminar for a group of pastors from the LCMS. It involved questionnaires, sermons, and interviews both before and after the seminar. The seminar included modeling sacramental preaching and taught the practice of “Preaching Partners” as a way of connecting the preacher to the the congregation.

It concludes by determining that more work needs to be done on defining a Lutheran sacramental imagination, that Preaching Partners is an excellent method for building both pastoral relationships and in creating a collaborative spirit in preaching, and that Lutherans will benefit from more interaction with non-Lutheran preaching and scholarship.

Enhancing Doctrinal Preaching to Increase Congregational Awareness of the Doctrine of Local Church membership at First Baptist Church, Chickasha, Oklahoma

Author
Michael Butler
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to enhance doctrinal preaching skills to increase congregational awareness of the doctrine of local church membership at First Baptist Church, Chickasha, Oklahoma. The project progressed through three phases: research, writing, and preaching. By researching the field of doctrinal preaching, the director identified a list of five best practices of doctrinal preaching. The director then employed these practices in writing a series of four sermons on the doctrine of local church membership. After writing the sermons, the director preached the sermon series at FBC. A pre-test and post-test assessment demonstrated the sermons increased awareness of the importance of the doctrine of local church membership among the project's participants.

Preaching About Biblical Marriage: An Evaluation of Functional Elements in Martyn Lloyd-Jones's Sermons on Ephesians 5:22-33 as Contained in the Book Christian Marriage and Its Implications for Modern Preachers

Author
Keith Wayne Hamilton D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this historical and biographical analysis was to understand the life and ministry of Martyn Lloyd-Jones and to draw implications from this understanding for contemporary pastors more faithfully to preach biblically concerning marriage. The overall ministry philosophy and methodology of Lloyd-Jones have been considered along with his value for biblical authority, expository preaching, and biblical marriage. This purpose was accomplished through qualitative research using content analysis on primary and secondary sources by and about Martyn Lloyd-Jones to understand what he believed about Christian preaching and ministry and to know how he applied that understanding personally and in the pulpit.

The research design for this study followed a qualitative approach to studying data. The study also implemented content analysis when examining individual sermons Lloyd-Jones preached from Ephesians 5:22-33 contained in Christian Marriage: From Basic Principles to Transformed Relationships. These sermons were evaluated according to the functional elements of explanation, illustration, and application to derive implications for pastors today.

The research is developed into three parts. First, in chapters 1-2, the thesis and life of Lloyd-Jones is described. Second, in chapters 3-4, his value for biblical expository preaching is established. Third, chapters 5-6 set forth the evaluating methodology for the eleven sermons. Fourth, chapter 7 validated the thesis by offering the analysis of data and research conclusions, along with further suggestions.

From Ecclesial Ruin to the Blessed Hope: The Connection between John Nelson Darby's Ecclesiology and His Dispensational Theology in His Sermons

Author
Stephen Mark Fulmer D.Min.
Abstract
The author examined how the preaching of John Nelson Darby demonstrate a correlation between his ecclesiology and the formation of his dispensational theology. A total of 15 of Darby’s sermons were reviewed within the context of five eschatological themes: (1) the ruin and apostasy of the church, (2) a call to separation and holiness, (3) the blessed hope – Christ’s soon return, (4) the coming eschatological judgment, (5) the church as the bride of Christ. The author concludes that Darby’s sermons are an important resource that reveals that his ecclesiology and his eschatology are developed in a profoundly interconnected manner and reinforce one another.

Preaching to Help Members of a Burmese-Falam Chin Congregation Overcome Their Lack of Self-Esteem

Author
Deborah Suikhinmawi D.Min.
Abstract
Preaching provides the opportunity to express God’s everlasting love, care, and presence, and to nourish a healthy self-esteem in the hearers as beloved children of God. This thesis project focuses on preaching that aims at instilling in its hearers the truth of their identity as people valued by God. It is concerned with the development of a message that restores self-esteem to persons who have experienced persecution, discrimination, and systematic oppression that have stripped them of their self-worth. Preaching the affirming truth of God’s love, care, and presence has the power to heal, remove self-doubts, restore confidence, and rejuvenate spirits of those individuals being dismissed as refugees, immigrants, or socially and culturally other.

The Effect of Preaching God's Mission in the Workplace

Author
Joseph Warrington D.Min.
Abstract
Thesis: A twelve week sermon series on God's mission would change the attitude (feeling) and practice (frequency) of mission in the workplace of members of Grace Church.
Research method: A mixed methods approach that utilized two open set surveys as well as participation in staggered focus groups, and interviews all designed to determine the defectiveness of the intervention.
The conclusion reached in the study conformed the intervention increased the participant's attitude (feelings) towards God's mission in the workplace. It also confirmed that the intervention increased the behavior (frequency) of the participant's in activities that promote God's mission in the workplace.

Preaching peace : one congregation's exploration of war and peace through preaching

Author
Timothy B. Tutt
Abstract
This project explores sermons related to war and peace preached in the 1900s at Westmoreland Congregational United Church of Christ in Bethesda, Maryland. The sermons were the centerpiece of an eight-week worship and education series intended to help the congregation better articulate a proactive theology of peace that would nurture their ongoing commitments to being creative, vigorous peace-mongers in the face of future wars and rumors of war. The project included sermons preached in worship, an education series, and two surveys exploring the impact of sermons on congregants’ views of war and peace.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Preaching on Porn: A Workshop to Train Pastors

Author
Michael Novotny D.Min.
Abstract
According to even the most conservative statistics, pornography is wrecking the bodies,
minds, and souls of millions of Christians in America. Nevertheless, most pastors are unsure
how to address this pandemic problem in their sermons.

This project suggests a solution. If a preacher verbalizes this taboo topic, normalizes the
struggle for God’s people, demonizes the sin of lust, evangelizes those struggling with sexual
sin, and strategizes ways for every member of the church to honor God with their bodies, the
pulpit might become a powerful solution for the saints’ struggle.

In this project, twelve pastors were surveyed and studied in order to create a workshop in
hopes of equipping them to preach wisely, boldly, and effectively on the topic of pornography.

A PRIMER FOR TRAINING EFFECTIVE PREACHERS IN THE LOCAL CHURCH

Author
Mark Frazee D.Min.
Abstract
A PRIMER FOR TRAINING EFFECTIVE PREACHERS IN THE LOCAL CHURCH
Training in effective preaching is helpful for the experienced preacher and the novice. This project gathered insights from experts on preaching, and organized them in six training sessions walking one through the entire process of preaching. These sessions were presented to a pilot group of pastors and teachers to further equip them for preaching, and to solicit their feedback on how the material could be improved to train others. Feedback was sought in group interviews and follow-up e-mail surveys. The sessions were revised and returned to the pilot group to be used to equip others in preaching.
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