Sermons Years A. B. C.
With these sermons I am indebted to many people, named and forgotten. Some of those who have influenced my 'progressive/post liberal' thinking whom I remember, include: Willi Marxsen, B Brandon Scott, Bernard E Meland, Robert Funk, Henry Nelson Wieman, Karl Peters, Tom Boomershine, Gordon D Kaufman, Lloyd Geering and Stephen Patterson - to name a few. All males I realise... Mmm.
I do not see myself as an original thinker but more as a reasonably good editor (at least I hope so...) able to weave thoughts, stories and ideas together in a fairly conversational, and at times, narrative way. Thus in my preaching style I try to invite others to both get curious and excited about what they hear and to explore further. If that happens then I feel I have been faithful to my calling as a preacher, as well as being respectful of my hearer, trusting s/he will complete the 'message'.
What follows in these sermons, therefore, are some of those invitations to explore - in a spirit of progressive/post-liberal theology. They are reasonably short, as far as sermons go, because I reckon sermons should be short if they are going to be heard in our multimedia/digital society. To preach much longer than 10-12 minutes these days, is bad communication no matter who you are! And all are written in what I call 'oral writing', although that doesn't always show on the web site format.
I also invite you to remember that a sermon, as an oral form of communication, is also part of a larger liturgy, a happening. That is, there are many other words, images, stories, reflections and music not published here - all of which helped shape the total experience of the Sunday morning experience in which these sermons were first spoken.
All this is earthed in my vision of ministry:
• Awakening others to the best/latest contemporary religious scholarship currently available, allowing that scholarship to shape liturgies, sermons, prayers and hymns;
• Shaping services of celebration, especially the Sunday morning experience, which blend tradition with the contemporary, using inclusive language, story, conversation, Australian images and new metaphors - all from a progressive/liberal theological perspective;
• Inviting parishioners to focus on a theology which advocates:
(i) Creativity-God as expressed within religious naturalism;
(ii) the humanity of Jesus; and
(iii) an ethical/social stance which values compassion and social justice;
• Encouraging all to push theological boundaries - to reimagine, reconceive and reconstruct, rather than just restate.