In the Shadow of Christendom

In the Shadow of Christendom

Today is the eighth and final post in the series I’ve been writing on sermons.  (You can find the series here) For the past 1700 years or so (since Constantine), the church has operated under what is commonly called Christendom. Some characteristics of this...
A change I am Working On Currently

A change I am Working On Currently

This is post number seven in a series I am writing about sermons. (You can find the series here) As I was leaving Ithaca, I decided that I would change how I prepared for sermons. Two stories to explain why. Story 1: Around 2009 I realised that I was not a great...
Shifts in How I Teach

Shifts in How I Teach

This is post number six in a series I am writing about sermons. (you can find others in this series here.) I first began speaking in churches over 30 years ago. In that time, I have made some changes. Here are a few of the major ones. How I started: Three Points in an...
Thinking like a Scientist

Thinking like a Scientist

This is post number five in a series I am writing about sermons. (you can find others in this series here.) Yesterday I wrote about a study on learning and overconfidence. The idea was that people who see a more polished presentation do not learn or retain any more...
The Sermon as Ted Talk

The Sermon as Ted Talk

This is post number four in a series I am writing about sermons. (you can find others in this series here.) What is the point of the sermon? What does the average listener hope to receive from it? What does the average preacher want from it? For me, as a hearer,...
Plagiarising Sermons

Plagiarising Sermons

This is post number three in a series I am writing about sermons. . (you can find others in this series here.) In 1997 the university ministry I was part of imploded. The guy overseeing university ministry in New York was fired, and they brought in a guy from the...
The Power of the Pulpit

The Power of the Pulpit

This is post number two in a series I am writing about sermons. (you can find others in this series here.) I am working on a post where I critique a modern problem with sermons. I thought it only fair that before I shared that, I critique something I did which I still...
Rethinking Sermons

Rethinking Sermons

I’ve been thinking a lot about sermons lately. While it might seem strange to spend time thinking about for most people, preparing and delivering messages (teachings, sermons, or whatever we happened called them) was a huge part of my life from 1989 until about 2012....