The Word Before the Powers
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There is much to applaud in a book such as this. Campbell does an excellent job bringing to the surface an important facet of Christian practice that has often gone unnoticed by those writiers that have been drawing attention to the biblical concept of the principalities and powers (Wink, et al). Campbell shows how the Christian practices of preaching forms the church as a community capable of resisting the powers and how preaching is itself, one of the forms of resistance the church engages in. This is a helpful complement to many recent contributions to political theology which center on the Eucharist as a resource for the church confronting the powers. Campbell helps to reintegrate word and sacrament through a fresh focus on how the proclamation of the word is always a challenge to the powers that be (despite how we may fall short of that vision).
Campbell is associate professor of Homiletics at Columbia Theological Seminary.