I was in over my head and I knew it. During my senior year of college, I was called to pastor a rural congregation fifteen minutes off campus. My senior class friends were making the most of their weekends while my Saturdays were devoted to prepping for Sunday sermons. I took a preaching course in college but barely paid attention presuming, “I don’t have to be ready to preach yet; there’s plenty of time.” If only I had taken that course seriously! The high call of preaching good news to a hope-hungry human race overwhelmed me. Most of the people in that small congregation were three times my age. What could I possibly tell them that they didn’t already know and how could I say it any differently than they had already heard it? Simply put, preaching petrified me.
Homiletic Heresies: Docetism to Donatism to Deism
Several heresies reared their ugly head in the early days of the Church as she sought to comprehend and communicate the full divinity and complete humanity of Christ. These Christological heresies form a frame through which to analyze current homiletic “heresies” that have developed around the preacher and preaching.
[T]he most unquestioned homiletic assumption of our time: that the primary task of preaching is a matter of finding the right rhetorical technique, homiletic style, and evangelistic strategy to translate and make Christianity useful, appealing, relevant and entertaining on terms dictated by a consumerist culture. This understanding of preaching… in practice, shifts the weight of dependence from the efficacy of the Spirit to an almost exclusive dependence on human personality, ingenuity, method, and skill.