Category Archives: Preaching

Praying for the Consuming Fire of Love

It is a fantastical fantasy, I know. Even so, I fantasize: If every Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant pastor were to read the Unspoken Sermons of George MacDonald, the Church of Jesus Christ would experience an extraordinary revival in the Holy Spirit. … Continue reading

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The Word Words the World: Robert W. Jenson on Preaching

by Chris E.W. Green, Ph.D. Preaching is Jesus happening to us. For Robert Jenson, the life that the Father, Son, and Spirit share—that is, the “divine nature”—is lively and dramatic: “a going‐on, a sequentially palpable event, like a kiss or … Continue reading

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The Scandalous Injustice of Grace: St Isaac the Syrian and Pope John Paul II

Back in 2008, “60 Minutes” interviewed the Boston button man John Martorano. The inter­view is unsettling. In a quiet, detached, matter-of-fact tone, Martorano describes the twenty confessed murders he committed during his years as an enforcer for the Winter Hill … Continue reading

Posted in Grace, Justification & Theosis, Isaac the Syrian, Preaching | 26 Comments

Preaching the Astonishing Love of God with St Isaac the Syrian

Who among the Eastern Fathers has written more eloquently, more profoundly about the astonishing love of God Almighty than St Isaac the Syrian? “In Isaac’s understanding,” states Met Hilarion Alfeyev, “God is above all immeasurable love. The conviction that God … Continue reading

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The Nothing of Grace and the Apokatastasis of Justification by Faith

My adult Christian life, both pre- and post-seminary, has been marked by theological pas­sions. Holy Trinity, Incarnation, Eucharist, feminist language for divinity, ecclesial authority—at any given point in time these topics have captured and monopolized my intellect. I would buy … Continue reading

Posted in Eschatology, Grace, Justification & Theosis, Preaching | Tagged , , , , , , | 62 Comments

Grace Ain’t Cheap–It’s Free!

When pastors become troubled by the pre­sence of so many nominal believers in their congregations, they typically begin to preach Bonhoeffer’s distinction between cheap and costly grace: “Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus … Continue reading

Posted in Grace, Justification & Theosis, Preaching | 18 Comments

Preaching Good Good Very Good News: Proclamation, Liturgy, Kingdom

Preach the gospel in the performative mode of uncondi­tional promise—let’s call this the proclamatory rule of the gospel. It comes into play when the gospel-speaker is declaring the good news of Jesus Christ to one or more individuals, with the … Continue reading

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Preaching Good Good Very Good News: The Grammar of Apokatastasis

What difference does apokatastasis make to the churchly preaching of the gospel? All the difference in the world—and therefore all the difference to the world. How we understand the conclusion of the gospel story informs how we tell the story … Continue reading

Posted in Eschatology, Preaching, Robert Jenson | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments