testament: The PTS Journal of Literary and Visual Arts

February 7, 2011


The PTS Journal of Literary and Visual Arts

calling for submissions

deadline: feb 28, 2011








Intro to Preaching: Book Review

February 7, 2011

This is the book review I wrote for my Intro to Preaching course.


Book Review: Preaching as Testimony by Anna Carter Florence

Preaching as Testimony by Anna Carter Florence, is written for the explicit reason of asking readers “to rethink preaching in light of testimony…[and]…testimony in light of preaching.”[1] As Florence sees it, “testimony is our oldest model for talking about God”[2] but “is a virtually untapped resource” and its absence from homiletics “need[s] to be addressed.”[3] Aware of the ongoing debate regarding the complications of sharing too much personal information from the pulpit, Florence persuasively argues that we reclaim testimony as a form of preaching that is not autobiographical, but rather a telling of what the preacher “has seen and heard in the Biblical text and in life, and then confesses what she believes about it.”[4]

Preaching as Testimony is broken up into three parts.  Florence believes there are details of our preaching tradition that have been forgotten and as such, part one highlights three women preachers as an attempt to “wake up some of those details.”[5] Her choice of women is based on the fact that they were “amazing people” who were famous and had “written documents associated with them” to include “trial transcripts, letters, autobiographies, and journals.”[6] Just as these women were worth highlighting in the book, they are worth highlighting here.  Read the rest of this entry »

Intro to Preaching: Sermon #3 Manuscript

February 7, 2011

This is the first sermon I preached for my Intro to Preaching course.  The prep work is posted separately.


4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

— Phillipians 4, 4-9

“Almost 24 million Americans have diabetes.”[1] My father and two of my little cousins, aged 7 and 9 are included in that number.  They have Type 1 Diabetes and have to prick their finger to check their blood sugar anywhere from 3 to 12 times a day and take insulin shots at least twice a day.  While someone with diabetes would not willingly deny treatment, of the “approximately 20.9 million American adults, or about 9.5 percent of the U.S. population, [who] have a mood disorder,”[2] “fewer than half of those suffering from this illness seek treatment.”[3] “Why?” you ask?  According to the Institute of Mental Health, “many people resist treatment because they believe depression isn’t serious, that they can treat it themselves or that it is a personal weakness rather than a serious medical illness.”[4] Science discovered quite some time ago that mental illnesses are caused not by personal weaknesses, or spiritual ones for that matter, but rather chemical and/or hormonal imbalances that affect the way a person thinks and perceives the world around them.  It seems however, that the rest of the world is slow to catch up with this information. Read the rest of this entry »

Intro to Preaching: Sermon #3 Info

February 7, 2011

For the third sermon I preached for my Intro to Preaching course, I chose a public issue sermon and used Philippians 4:4-9.  Along with the sermon, we were required to turn in the following:

(1)  Select the Text: Philippians 4, 4-9; I selected this text as I thought it was a good text to explore in light of my topic of depression.

(2)  Reconsider the limits of the pericope:  I consider this pericope to be a logical part of the whole.

(3)  Establish a reliable translation of the text: I will be using the NRSV as I found it to be clear and concise.

(4)  Read the Text Aloud: It seems that Paul is not displeased with the church in Philippi but rather content with their spiritual growth thus far and excited about helping them continue to grow into their identity as believers in and followers of Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »

Intro to Preaching: Sermon #2 Manuscript

February 7, 2011

This is the first sermon I preached for my Intro to Preaching course.  The prep work is posted separately.


12 It was told King David, ‘The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.’ So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing; 13and when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. 14David danced before the Lord with all his might; David was girded with a linen ephod. 15So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.

16 As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.

17 They brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt-offerings and offerings of well-being before the Lord. 18When David had finished offering the burnt-offerings and the offerings of well-being, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts, 19and distributed food among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins. Then all the people went back to their homes.

20 David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, ‘How the king of Israel honoured himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ maids, as any vulgar fellow might shamelessly uncover himself!’ 21David said to Michal, ‘It was before the Lord, who chose me in place of your father and all his household, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord, that I have danced before the Lord.22I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in my own eyes; but by the maids of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honour.’ 23And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.

— 2 Samuel 6, 12-23

The story at hand opens with David bringing the ark of God into the city of Jerusalem.  Just prior to this story however, after his first attempt to move the ark resulted in the death of Uzzah, David decides to leave the ark at the house of Obed-Edom.  You see, Uzzah had touched the ark which the Levitical law specifically says is forbidden.  Despite Uzzah’s desire to keep the ark from falling to the ground, the Lord struck Uzzah dead.  David was furious with God and then afraid of the consesquences of having the ark in his care.  With this in mind, David’s second attempt to move the becomes a bit more courageous.  David’s tense yet excited state is evident when, after only six steps, David sacrifices an ox AND a fatling to God.  That would have taken some time to accomplish but I think it is safe to say that David was willing to take the time in hopes that no one else would die during the transport of the ark.

Read the rest of this entry »