“About every 50 years, American preaching has a nervous breakdown,” asserts Thomas Long in the introduction to his new book Preaching from Memory to Hope (Westminster John Knox). “What happens is that trusted structures and strategies of the pulpit suddenly seem to lose their potency; and worried preachers, their confidence shaken, begin to scramble for the next new thing.”

Long is one of the most gifted homileticians in the mainline church today, and his insights will be read with interest by anyone who is serious about preaching. Among the topics Long addresses are the swing away from narrative preaching (a theme that has dominated preaching texts for the past two decades), dealing with the new spirituality (which he pegs quite accurately, I think—to a large extent, the old Gnosticism) and what he considers the neglected theme in preaching, eschatology. (Tom hasn’t been in some of the churches I’ve visited, where eschatology is a regular topic!)

While the book is written by and for mainline church leaders, Long should be embarrassed at elitist phrases such as “the droolings of the Left Behind crowd,” this is nevertheless a book that deserves to be read by those who are serious about preaching in today’s culture. Preaching from Memory to Hope is filled with hope for the future of preaching.

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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Preaching from Memory to Hope
Thomas G. Long
Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2009
Paperback, 176 pp.

“About every 50 years, American preaching has a nervous breakdown,” asserts Thomas Long in the introduction to his new book Preaching from Memory to Hope (Westminster John Knox). “What happens is that trusted structures and strategies of the pulpit suddenly seem to lose their potency; and worried preachers,
their confidence shaken, begin to scramble for the next, new thing.”

Long is one of the most gifted homileticians in the mainline church today, and his insights will be read with interest by anyone who is serious about preaching. Among the topics Long addresses are the swing away from narrative preaching (a theme that has dominated preaching texts for the past two decades), dealing with the new spirituality (which he pegs—quite accurately, I think—as largely just the old Gnosticism), and what he considers the neglected theme in preaching, eschatology. (Obviously Tom hasn’t been in some of the churches I’ve visited, where eschatology is a regular topic!)

While the book is written by and for mainline church leaders—Tom should be embarrassed at such elitist phrases as “the droolings of the Left Behind crowd”—this is nevertheless a book which deserves to be read by those who are serious about preaching in today’s culture. Preaching from Memory to Hope is a book filled with hope for the future of preaching.

Share This On:

About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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