Preach the Word (PTW), a program of the LCMS Office of Pastoral Education that was designed to foster excellence in preaching, has released its ninth module: “Preaching in a Post-Christian World.” The module features the Rev. Dr. Gregory P. Seltz, executive director of the Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty in Washington, D.C., and speaker emeritus of “The Lutheran Hour.”
In the introductory video to Module 9, Seltz says that the challenge for today’s preachers is to ask, “What are my people actually hearing me say? Why?”
“The culture in which we live, arguably rooted in Judeo-Christian fundamentals and principles,” Seltz says, “is now decidedly post-Christian in how it thinks and acts in public life. Many of the basic truths of the Bible are now seen, not merely as foreign to our modern way of thinking, but out of touch, out of step, even dangerous. Into that reality we are called to communicate to deliver the Good News of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.”
The primary components of the module are:
- A theological consideration of the challenges to preaching presented by post-Christian culture.
- A theoretical consideration of the challenges to preaching presented by post-Christian culture.
- Two sample sermons in which the preacher addresses and engages post-Christian narratives in service to proclaiming the Gospel.
As with other modules in the PTW series, participants work together in groups of three, known as “triads.” They begin by viewing and discussing the video segments. They then individually apply what they have learned to their own preaching by recording themselves as they deliver sermons to their own congregations. Finally, they share the videos of themselves with the others in their group for analysis and conversation.
Included in Module 9 is a rubric adapted from the book Preaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller. The rubric provides a method for preachers to learn ways to “engage,” “confront” and “turn” post-Christian narratives about science/history, community, justice/morality and identity so as to proclaim the Gospel.
The study guide notes, “The biblical proclamation of eternal life, personal forgiveness, reconciliation, redemption, spiritual adoption and purposeful life, now and forever, confronts the narratives of the culture in which the church and its people live. The preacher of the Gospel must be attuned to both the message of the Scripture and the unique challenges of the culture in which he lives, engaging those challenges to deliver effectively the Good News of Jesus.”
Find out more about this and all the Preach the Word modules at lcms.org/preach-the-word.
Posted Nov. 16, 2020