Leaving the Chaplaincy at St Mary’s College: Looking back…

I began serving as Chaplain to St Mary’s College at Durham University at the start of 2013. By this summer’s close, my tenure will end. When I began working full-time at St John’s College at the start of this academic year as a lecturer and tutor in theology and ministry, Mary’s allowed me to reduce…

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Should Preaching be Entertaining?

I asked in the previous post if preaching should be entertaining. My thinking is that preaching must ultimately be, like the Christian Scriptures, engaging. That is, preaching must arrest the mind, heart, soul, and strength (to borrow from the Shema—Dt 6:4) and compel a reimagining of reality and a reanimation of our lives. In this…

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When A Sermon Mystifies more than Explains

I love preaching. It darn near kills me, but I love it. In trying to be a better preacher, I am thinking more intently and prayerfully about the practice and theology of this curious, holy, frightful, and joyful discipline. One of the temptations I have found in sermon preparation is that of providing a full…

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2012 Music Review: Twelve Favorites

Over the past several years I’ve gotten in the December habit of compiling lists of my favorite music releases.  While I was in seminary taking preaching classes, I sought out an exercise that would help me enjoy, evaluate, and communicate texts in a creative way to an audience.  Since, at the time, all I was…

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Celebrity Culture, the “Speaking Circuit,” and John the Baptist

I am one of those tortured-soul types.  And this post is an invitation into one of my ongoing struggles.  (“Welcome all you suckers to Struggleville” as my friend Bill Mallonee used to sing). The struggle I am writing about here is more than a personal struggle.  This is a church struggle.  The issue is this:…

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