Matt talks to Jennifer Morrow, pastor of Rowayton United Methodist Church in Rowayton, Connecticut, and Timothy Ross, pastor of Hopwood Christian Church in Johnson City, Tennessee, about their weekly sermon collaboration, editing each other’s work, and listening for God’s movement in each other’s congregation.
Lutherans are trained to hear the scriptures as proclaiming either law or gospel. By "law" they mean not passages from the Old Testament but all of the Bible's bad news: the sins we commit, the misery we experience, the sorrows we inflict on one another, the death we anticipate, the distance from God that diminishes our lives. By "gospel" they mean not the final reading on Sunday morning but the good news of the mercy given by a loving God, wherever in the Bible it is proclaimed.
In Galatians, Paul is confrontational. While we should be more cautious about calling other people "foolish," we can learn from him that tolerance shouldn't depend on denying one's faith, and being grounded in one's faith shouldn't lead to intolerance or coercion.
Matt talks to Paul Scott Wilson, who teaches homiletics at the University of Toronto, about the importance of doctrinal clarity in preaching, why God should be the subject of a sermon's verbs, and how preachers can make that happen.
Martin Boehm was a key player in founding the United Brethren in Christ denomination, one of the precursors of the United Methodist Church. More than 240 years ago, Boehm was excommunicated after having a Wesleyan-type spiritual awakening that led to his preaching to people outside of his Mennonite church. Pennsylvania Mennonites recently denounced “the small-mindedness of religious thinking” that led to Boehm’s ouster, restored his Mennonite credentials, and asked local United Methodists forgiveness for their spiritual forebears’ narrowness (UMNS, June 27).