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    Why I Need to Hear a Black Preacher Regularly

    The church I co-pastor has been rotating between three preachers of different ethnicities for a year. But it was only last week that I began to realize how hearing only one preacher voice at at time affects how we view God. Our ears naturally come to hear Jesus talk like our preacher — their voice stands in for his. Jesus’ words come through the preacher’s language and tone. If we hear it every week, we start to assume that Jesus, two thousand years ago, preached in English. Our head knows Jesus spoke Aramaic, but your heart hears Jesus whisper in English. This starves our theology. If Jesus speaks like a…

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    Gangnam-Style and Gospel-Style, Psy and Pentecost

    Remember “Oppa Gangnam-Style” the surprising phenomenal hit? It was a Korean dance song that became an international hit and first to get one billion views! And it was all Korean words – except for the “you know what I am saying” hip-hop phrase a side-splitting incongruity of a Korean nerd with no street cred flicking his wrist as if he grew up from the hood. English would have been the way to go if Psy sought international fame. But Turks flash-mobbed the dance and Australians horse-galloped to the song though they did not know a single Korean word! People caught the spirit of the words and they danced without understanding many of the jokes in…

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    Theology needs Poetry

    “I can’t believe that, when we have all been changed and put on incorruptibility, we will forget our fantastic condition of mortality and impermanence, the great bright dream of procreating and perishing that meant the whole world to us. In eternity this world will be Troy, I believe, and all that has passed here will be the epic of the universe, the ballad they sing in the streets. Because I don’t imagine any reality putting this one in the shade entirely, and I think piety forbids me to try.” – from Gilead by Marilynne Robinson I have not found a more emotive, and clearer description of the relationship between eternity…

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    Why Preachers Procrastinate.

    The homiletic process never gets easier. Talk about writer’s block! How about the homiletician’s obstruction! The writer worries about the fall into the imperfection of words the realm of perfect thought. He worries that the description he imagined will keep degrading to a farce with every word he chooses. That is what words are, ever narrowing funnels, in one sense, as each word limits the next word you can choose, grammatically and conceptually. But this specification is not necessarily clarity as words, by nature, are ambiguous, which, paradoxically allows for communication. If it is too specific and clear then it has a one-on-one identification and thus cannot communicate. It needs…