Catholic Culture Solidarity
Catholic Culture Solidarity

woe unto me if I preach not

By Diogenes ( articles ) | May 08, 2007

The Church Times has an article on a new guide, issued with a view to improving homiletic effectiveness, published by a body that calls itself the College of Preachers. Discouraging. Few churchgoers would deny that preaching can stand improvement, but most of us would argue that the problem is not in the delivery, but in the fact that the preacher has absolutely nothing to say. That makes the emphasis on Rotarian-style "effectiveness" and communication skills all the more beside the point.

Preachers should be open to discussion of their sermons, and should check with experts in their community when referring to technical subjects outside their expertise, a brief guide issued by the College of Preachers suggests. ... Paul Jones, director of the College of Preachers, said on Monday: "For serious-minded preachers who want to test the effectiveness of their sermons, the only way is to ask. Churchgoers should be able to discuss with the preacher the sermon --

In part, that's what blogs are for, Doctor Jones.

-- otherwise it can be words left hanging in the air. The sermon is a dialogue. If the sermon has technical content, say, on climate change or genetic engineering, it would be good to pick up information from experts in the congregation."

If the sermon has technical content on climate change or genetic engineering, the preacher should be beaten (moderately, with a view to brotherly correction) and a Christian desirous of strengthening the Faith should be installed in his place.

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