John Wilson And Thomas Church

1749 Words Dec 11th, 2014 7 Pages
Among all the authors this semester that I encountered, my strongest connections were near the beginning of the semester. It is difficult to pick one favorite, because of commonality across the voices of Thomas Long, Paul Wilson, and Frank Thomas. In varying combinations, they share certain beliefs about both the form and function of sermons. Wilson and Thomas both structure their sermons around parallel points: trouble in the Bible, trouble in our time, grace in the Bible, and grace in our time. Long and Thomas share the belief that sermons should affect change of some kind in the lives of their hearers. For Long, “sermons make demands upon the hearers, which is another way of saying that they provoke change in the hearers (even if the change is a deepening of something already present). Thomas 's belief is that “in the pulpit, the preacher must influence behavior.” The points of divergence for these three authors are points that I like from all three authors, leading me to incorporate them all into my own sermons whenever possible. Long 's major emphasis on sermon structure comes through the presence of focus and function statements. Other than that, he is wide open to various ways of arranging the ideas within the sermon. I appreciate his fluidity in this area, because any kind of persuasive speaking opportunity is affected by the intended audience just as much as the message itself. Consequently, one strict format is unlikely to be effective in all…

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