Poet and Preacher: by Maurice Andrew

Maurice Andrew seems to be enjoying a long retirement in Dunedin.  He completed his outstanding academic career as Principal at Knox College a wee while ago now

The German poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) held a high view of the poet’s calling. It is probably expressed most directly in his poem “O tell us, poet, what you do. – I praise.” (“O sage Dichter, was du tust. Ich rühme.” ‘Rühmen’ is not the only word for ‘praise’ in German, and there is a touch of the exultant about it.)

My translation of Rilke’s poem is below, and then my interpretation of it (“Homiletics”). My interpretation makes an application to the preacher rather than to the poet. In other words, Rilke’s poem set me thinking and writing about “what the preacher does”. Continue reading

Angles on Preaching V: What we might be missing in our preaching? – Geoff New

Rev Dr Geoff New is Dean of Studies at the Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership and is based in Dunedin.  He has a particular passion for preaching and has been a director in the Kiwi-Made Preaching organisation since 2012.

Allow me several lead-ins to the one topic. I am still collecting my thoughts on the subject and so to help clarify my thoughts, I need to meander through some doorways.

The first is from Jeremiah 4:16

This is what the Lord says:
‘Stand at the crossroads and look;
            ask for the ancient paths, Continue reading

Angles on Preaching IV: The Whisper of God on the outer fringes – Geoff New

Rev Dr Geoff New is Dean of Studies at the Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership and is based in Dunedin.  He has a particular passion for preaching and has been a director in the Kiwi-Made Preaching organisation since 2012.

By chapter twenty-six in the Book of Job, Job is coming to the end of his argument and defence to his friends. He is running out of words, energy and patience – even though the ‘patience of Job’ is proverbial. And here in Job 26, there is a sublime and succinct summary of the work of God in creation. In nine verses (vv 5-13), Job surveys the power of God in dealing with death, destruction, the vastness of space, the mystery of earth hanging in space, the science of cloud formation, the establishment of horizons, the relationship between light and darkness, and the harnessing of monstrous sea creatures.
All this is but a glimpse of a day-in-the-life-of-God. Continue reading

Angles on Preaching III: Preaching Stories “Our Way” – Geoff New

Rev Dr Geoff New is Dean of Studies at the Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership and is based in Dunedin.  He has a particular passion for preaching and has been a director in the Kiwi-Made Preaching organisation since 2012.

Over the past few years, I have had the extraordinary opportunity to travel into North East India to teach preaching. One region particularly challenged me: Nagaland. Space does not allow me to give all the back-story but I was struck by the similarities between their cultural protocols of welcoming and observance with that of Tangata Whenua in Aotearoa. Continue reading

Angles of Preaching II: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness” – Geoff New

Rev Dr Geoff New is Dean of Studies at the Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership and is based in Dunedin.  He has a particular passion for preaching and has been a director in the Kiwi-Made Preaching organisation since 2012.

I can’t remember where I read this quote but it has stayed with me for years since: “You’re not really preaching until people hear that Other Voice” (Billy Graham).

Sometime last year I was in church listening to the sermon. That’s not strictly true, Continue reading

Angles on Preaching I: “Yet this I call to mind” – Geoff New

Rev Dr Geoff New is Dean of Studies at the Knox Centre for Ministry & Leadership and is based in Dunedin.  He has a particular passion for preaching and has been a director in the Kiwi-Made Preaching organisation since 2012.

Lam 3:19-23

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

These words do not belong in the place we find them: The Book of Lamentations. When you consider the sweep of Lamentations, these words seem like a slip of the pen. A major slip. Continue reading

The sermon as sacred disruption – Martin Stewart

I would love a creative conversation in Candour on sermons.

I remember an elder in my first parish informing me as he was leaving (!) that my preaching went only so far and then it left things open-ended rather than me taking the opportunity to deliver the ‘killer’ punch.  He was taking his family to a church where the preacher would tell him how things were.
I was disappointed about his leaving but impressed that he saw exactly what I was trying to do.  I was serving in a context where a few preachers had been telling everyone what to think and the majority of people were quite over it.
Nearly 30 years on I still view the sermon as a conversation.  I understand the engagement with the scriptures as opening a window for ongoing dialogue with God. Continue reading