Thursday, April 20, 2006

Incandescence-- Light Shed through the Word

Even before the expected time, my new book of sermons with Eerdmans, Incandescence has now come into print. This volume is a collaborative effort between Ellsworth Kalas, one of our homileticians who wrote the introductory essay on preaching, J.D. Walt the Dean of Chapel at Asbury, Julie Robertson, who has provided the spiritual formation exercises, and myself.

My contribution to the book besides the opening remarks is a fair selection of my sermons from the last 25 years of my preaching. Since in my tradition one preaches either the lectionary texts, or at the very least according to the season of the church year (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Kingdomtide) the sermons have been arranged according to the church year.

You will find if you read this brief book (only 200 pages, and inexpensive by modern standards) that I preach three different types of sermons-- some basically doctrinal, some basically ethical, and some story or narrative sermons. Some of these border on expository sermons, some do not, as I have varied the practice depending on the audience. And I have deliberately included sermons that are works in progress, or better put on the way to being good sermons. Why have I done this? Well because I wanted to include sermons from the whole range of my preaching career, and of course there are some things I could say better or would say differently now. Hopefully a homiletician grows and changes.

You will discover that I preach from both testaments with regularlity, even though I do not believe we are under the old covenant any more. There is a difference then between recognizing the OT as God's Word, and asking the question how does it apply and how should it be preached by Christians.

This volume is set up to be used for retreats, spiritual formation purposes, discussion seminars and the like, and the aim of course is to help you with your soul work--- edification and education and exhortation. You will find various of my personal stories in these sermons as well, as you might expect.

I will be very interested to hear your reaction to this volume and to see whether you find it helpful. Let me know--- when you can, if it was illuminating or even incandescent for you.

11 comments:

Wayne Bowerman said...

This sounds great! I love that it’s organized around the liturgical year. I will have to put it on my summer reading list.

RevrdMark said...

Hi Ben,
I'm glad I discovered your blog here, and am glad to hear of the collection of sermons coming out. I've used your books as sources so many times since being one of your students at Asbury back in 95. I'll look forward to reading some of your Mayberry meets Oxford sermons.

I'm disappointed that I wont be able to attend when you are in Richland, WA in a few weeks. I hope the convocation goes well, and happy Easter Tide!

Mark McMurray

Ben Witherington said...

Hi Mark and Wayne:
Very nice to hear from you, and I am also sorry I won't see you next weekend in Washington Mark.

Blessings,

Ben W.

davebeals said...

Ben...Sounds like good reading. By the way...What's your take on the International Critical Commentary Series ???...Dave

Ben Witherington said...

The ICC series is certainly one of the top technical commentary series, but like all commentary series it is uneven. There are some excellent volumes (e.g. by my doctoral teachers--- Cranfield and Barrett) but there are some forgettable volumes as well.

Blessings,

Ben

Aaron G said...

I have found one of the best ways to really understand and appreciate Paul Tillich's work is to read his memorable sermons.
I'm sure yours will be similarly useful to Christians seeking a lived theology.

davebeals said...

Boy...I liked that phrase by Aaron "lived theology". It seems to me that I have been exposed to too much dead systematic theological stuff instead of living the real stuff...Dave

Michael F. Bird said...

Ben,
I enjoyed the sermons you gave at Morling Theological College in Sydney a few years ago (on Revelation and Romans). Though I thought the highlight was your singing: you sound like a cross between Tom Jones and George W. Bush - at least to my antipodian ears any way. Hope the comparison doesn't offend, and I look forward to reading the volume.

mr said...

Wow! Tom Jones, you say? I heard Dr. Witherinton sing last month. I didn't think about Tom Jones. Maybe he lacked the moves. The singing was great and he had everyone singing along. Very memorable about "Grace". I'm still humming it at times.
M.R.

Ross said...

Hi Ben

I have been a way for a while and am just getting back into the routine. I wanted to say how much I missed your blogs. This is a wonderful ministry and I hope you keep it up (though how you manage it I don't quite know)! I will be ordering your book of sermons this afternoon. Thank you and God bless.

Benson said...

Dr. Ben,

I look forward to reading your book. As I have said elsewhere, I find your material helpful and inspiring.

I am afraid mr. bird is quite mistaken with the tom jones/gwbush comparison... what in the world???

Cheers!