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Topic: Preaching Today
President Obama: 'We are Easter People'
3/31/2016 5:57:57 PM
Here are some remarkable words from President Obama at a White House Easter Breakfast.
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Jesus is Not Some Phony Spook
4/22/2009 7:00:24 PM
This past Sunday the gospel text had to do with a disciple who has come to be called "doubting Thomas." I think Thomas has gotten a bum rap for his determination to make sure this was the real Jesus who was standing in front of him. He says he wants to touch the wounds of Jesus to make sure he is real. Thomas does not want to believe in some phony spook, he wants to know this is the same Jesus he had come to know and love, the real physical, material Jesus in the flesh who could be touched with whom he had developed a relationship of solidarity.
It would be well for the church today to be like Thomas, to remember that Jesus was this very real person with flesh and blood. Too many who claim to follow Jesus today actually think of him as a kind of spiritual spook outside of this world and with no real contact with the material world. The whole meaning of Christian faith is that God has come into the midst of the actual world to be with us. Churches which fail to take seriously the continuing sacramental reality of the body of Christ in the eucharist end up spiritualizing Jesus to the degree that they reject his presence in the real world created by a loving God.
So, celebrate Thomas whose doubts actually reflect faith, faith in the real material Jesus.
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Why Pastors Need to Understand Rush Limbaugh
3/16/2009 5:25:41 PM
I know. You don't want to do it. Most pastors I know say "just turn him off" about Rush Limbaugh. But there may be reasons why some pastors ought to listen enough to know what the guy is saying. If you are in an area where lots of people listen to him you need to know what he is saying because he is establishing the talking points for coffee and conversations across your community.
And when your folks come into your church to hear a sermon their minds are aleady set, they are alert to the language you will use and how much your language may or may not correspond to what Rush has been saying.
No kidding. The man is actually taking over as the voice of the Republican Party now that that party has no national spokespersons. And you as a pastor are not so different from Republican leaders who have crossed swords with Limbaugh. You know it's true. When you prepare a sermon you wonder to yourself, how will this go over to the folks who listen to Limbaugh? The only way to know is to actually listen to what the guy says and develop clearly strategic sermons.
Actually, you don't have to listen to him now. Media Matters has developed something called The Limbaugh Wire to help people who want to know what he is saying as well as offer a critique of it.
And it is not hard to figure Limbaugh out. He loves to brag about how he "knows how liberals think". And how they think is to have compassion for others including the less fortunate. His whole thing is to attack liberals for wanting government to help people. His whole program is an effort to attack not only liberals (the educated class) but the people for whom liberals have some compassion, such as people on welfare or minorities or people who need some help once in a while. I only listen to him maybe a few minutes once or twice a week and this is his constant theme.
So, in other words, if you give a sermon calling for some compassion, watch out, if you are in a place where many of your people are listening to Rush Limbaugh.
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