More on Barthian preaching

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Further to Carl's comments on Barthian preaching...


Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Barthian preaching is their belief that something happens in preaching that happens nowhere else. Lacking an authoritative epistemological base, Barthians assume the posture all too common elsewhere -- "you need to listen because God is speaking through me". Like the preacher who says, "God has led me to preach on this text this morning" when the truth is that I've been partying all week and I needed to pluck something from the barrel.

Still, there's an element of visceral excitement about the existential thought that God is actually speaking to me in this sermon. Compare that to the "flat" sermon -- watch how clever I am in getting to Bethlehem from this text -- approach. These sermons are all the same, of course; it just takes longer to get to Bethlehem from Judges than Haggai. It assumes a gnostic posture: "you'd never have seen Jesus here unless I gave you the formula." Right! The first time is exciting for sure, but repeated displays become ho-hum.

Posted March 12, 2010 @ 11:28 AM by Derek Thomas

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