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Preaching the Gospel by Norman Pittenger

Dr. Pittenger, philosopher and theologian, was a senior member of Kingís College, Cambridge for many years, then Professor of Christian Apologetics at the General Theological Seminary in New York City, before retiring in 1966. Published by Morehouse-Barlow Co., Inc., Wilton, Connecticut, 1984. This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.

The authorís aim is to present liturgical preaching against a wider background of process thought and understanding.

Chapter 1: Preaching the Gospel
Preachers of the "good news" speak not just for the contemporary Church but for the whole body of faithful people, and God alone knows who has responded faithfully to the divine self-disclosure.

Chapter 2: What We Proclaim
The ordained ministerís function is to proclaim Jesus Christ and him crucified and risen from among the dead. This is simply and plainly Love -- Love-in-act, God as Love, God as the cosmic Lover whose sweep is all-inclusive, but the application of which is particular for each and every man or woman or child.

Chapter 3: The People to Whom We Preach
The Christian gospel comes with assurance that persons are accepted by a power greater than themselves; hence they are able to accept both themselves and others and to overcome their feeling of alienation and estrangement.

Chapter 4: The Setting in Worship
The proper setting for preaching should be the Eucharist. There are exceptions, but the Eucharist is the norm.

Chapter 5: The Preacher
The author speaks to the meaning of preacher, priest, prophet, elder, shepherd, pastor and other references to the ordained leader, but he gives special emphasis upon the obligations, duties and leadership of the "preacher."

Chapter 6: The Tradition, The Bible, and Preaching
The basic point of reference is the tradition,. The Bible is part of that tradition, but by no means all of it. In our times of fundamentalism and Biblical literalism we are challenged to use the Bible intelligently.

Chapter 7: Problems in Preaching
Dr. Pittenger discusses several difficulties with modern thought: 1. The uniqueness of Christ; 2. Divine intervention; 3. The "miraculous;" 4. Other religious traditions; 5. Secularization.

Chapter 8: Preaching, Theology, and Ethics
The author puts God at the center of his theological perspective, and the necessary consequences of this leads to a moral perspective.

Chapter 9: The End of Preaching
The responsible preacher will bring something significant to his message which will be meaningful to his listeners. Dr. Pittenger believes the sum of this is found in speaking of repentance, commitment and service.

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