How Odd of God: Chosen For the Curious Vocation of Preaching
Election is a strange word when used in theology. It brings to mind old debates about what God might or might not have done before the foundation of the world. But viewed apart from that historical baggage, the word election...
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Election is a strange word when used in theology. It brings to mind old debates about what God might or might not have done before the foundation of the world. But viewed apart from that historical baggage, the word election is about a central gospel idea: that in Jesus not only does God choose to be God for us but chooses us to be for God. The calling of the disciples in the gospels is a story of election, of how God chooses to transform the world by choosing us to be messengers and agents of that transformation. So it is, says William Willimon, that election becomes not just the content of our preaching but the means as well. God chooses preachers. How unlikely-how odd-is it that God should entrust the proclamation of the gospel to, well, us? This unpredictable, electing God reaches out to save the world and then leaves it in the hands of preachers to get the word out? Through us, through our stammering tongues and faltering hearts, the preached word becomes the Word of God. If you wonder why you drag yourself into the pulpit every Sunday, if you worry that your sermons aren't reaching past the front pew, then read this book and be encouraged.God chooses; God chooses preachers; God chooses you.
William H. Willimon is Presiding Bishop of the Birmingham Area of The United Methodist Church. Prior to his current position he served for twenty years as Professor of Christian Ministry and Dean of Duke University Chapel. He is the author of fifty books and over a million copies of his books have been sold including Sighing for Eden: Sin, Evil, and the Christian Faith, Thank God It's Friday, Conversations with Barth on Preaching, Proclamation and Theology, Sinning Like a Christian, Pastor: The Theology and Practice of Ordained Ministry and Proclamation And Theology: Horizons in Theology Series (Horizons in Theology)His articles have appeared in many publications including The Christian Ministry, Quarterly Review, Liturgy, Worship, and Christianity Today. His Pulpit Resource is used each week by over eight thousand pastors in the U.S.A., Canada, and Australia. He was selected in a Baylor University survey as one of the "Twelve Most Effective Preachers in the English-Speaking World."