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Interpreting the Gospel: An Introduction to Preaching

SKU 9780827216198

by Ronald J. Allen

In Interpreting the Gospel: An Introduction to Preaching, noted homiletics professor Ron Allen explores the paradoxical journey of learning to preach, acknowledging the mix of excitement and fear, honor and embarrassment that aspiring preachers often experience. The book aims to guide preachers in discovering their own voices and developing sermon preparation approaches aligned with their unique theological perspectives, contexts, and communication styles.

Allen emphasizes the diversity of thought within individuals and communities, advocating for multiple ways of conceiving and developing sermons to cater to the varied congregation. Viewing preaching as primarily an act of interpretation, the preacher assists the community in understanding the significance of the gospel for both the congregation and the larger world. The sermon is portrayed as a conversation where preacher and congregation jointly interpret common life through the lens of the gospel.

Interpreting the Gospel acknowledges the subjective nature of interpretation, influenced by factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, and personal beliefs. The preacher is encouraged to critically assess their own interpretive frameworks. The text also recognizes the evolving landscape of preaching, engaging with diverse perspectives including those of African Americans, feminists, postliberals, evangelicals, and liberation theologians.

Structured in sections, Interpreting the Gospel covers foundational issues, contextual considerations, sermon preparation, embodiment, evaluation, and includes case studies and sample sermons. While presenting a comprehensive approach to preaching, the author acknowledges the individuality of preachers and the need for adapting the process to personal styles and habits.