Preaching the Topical Sermon
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This book offers a practical model for developing sermons for occasions when the Bible offers little specific guidance for interpreting an issue, need, or situation. Ronald Allen describes why and how topical sermons should be used, discusses special occasions when they are appropriate, and outlines strategies for developing topical sermons, giving particular attention to controversial issues. The last chapter includes sample sermons by other preachers.
Ronald J. Allen (Ph.D. from Drew University) is Nettie Sweeney and Hugh Th. Miller Professor of Preaching and New Testament at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis. In addition to over 100 articles and chapters in books Allen is the author of almost thirty books.From 2000-2004, he directed one of the first studies of people who listen to sermons to determine the qualities in preaching that encourage people to pay attention to the sermon and qualities that discourage them from doing so. This project, funded by the Lilly Endowment, is generating four books. Listening to Listeners: Homiletic Case Studies (jointly authored with Dale P. Andrews, L. Susan Bond, John S. McClure, Dan P. Moseley, and G. Lee. Ramsey, Jr.) (2004), Hearing the Sermon: Relationship, Content, Feeling, Believing in Preaching: What Laity Think about Sermons(coauthored with Mary Alice Mulligan, Diane Turner-Sharazz and Dawn Ottoni Wilhelm) and, with Mary Alice Mulligan, Make the Word Come Alive: Lessons from Laity. Other recent books are Wholly Scripture: Preaching Themes from the Bible, along with Preaching is Believing: The Sermon as Theological Reflection , as well as Preaching: An Essential Guide.