Thursday, April 28, 2011

Episodic, narrative, or something else? Thomas Long explores the current state of preaching in America.

If you follow homiletic discussions, you know that over the last fifty years, narrative preaching has been the main form of preaching taught in mainline seminaries. This is primarily the result of the New Homiletic pioneered by Fred Craddock, David Buttrick, Eugene Lowry, and Henri Mitchell. The reach of their influence has extended even into evangelical circles. Haddon Robinson, by his own admission, has moved towards more narrative preaching in his sermons. In fact, I think at this point, Robinson ranks as one of the premier narrative preachers.

Within the last few years, there has been a growing consensus that narrative preaching is on the wane. There is, however, no consensus on what comes next. Here, Tom Long offers his thoughts. He touches on the advantages and disadvantages of both narrative preaching and another popular form of preaching, what he calls episodic, and what comes next. I find his critique of narrative preaching insightful. The problem is not so much with narrative preaching but with the fact that we live in a society that may no longer think in narratives. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts as well on where preaching is headed.

1 comment:

  1. This is a continuation of some thoughts Long shared at Truett several years ago. I deeply appreciate his insight. Thanks for sharing.