Preach the Word – January/February 2011

Volume 14, Number 3

Key Issue #2: Growing in Freshness and Variety in Proclaiming Law and Gospel

Refusing to reduce law and gospel proclamation to a predictable caricature of itself – finding the unique way each text proclaims those truths.

Read More

As a companion to the January/February 2011 issue of Preach the Word, we offer these resources for further study by individuals, study groups, or circuits:

Helpful Articles

In this essay Dr. Siegbert Becker (1914-1984), former professor at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, provides a helpful general overview of the proper distinction of law and gospel in preaching and teaching.

This essay seeks to encourage the preacher to find the Spirit’s courage to confront and convict with the law in this tolerant age since any hint of antinomianism always ends up doing damage to gospel proclamation.

Dr. James Arne Nestingen is professor emeritus of church history at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. In this essay he encourages the preacher to consider how the law and gospel in his sermon can end up having the exact opposite function than what he intended.

Dr. David Schmitt of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, urges Lutheran law/gospel preacher to remember that Richard Caemmerer’s emphasis on goal, malady, and means was never meant to provide a predictable and caricatured way to structure every sermon’s flow of thought.

Sample Sermons

In his sermon on the beatitudes preached for the festival of Saints Triumphant, Professor Ken Cherney of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary provides a striking example of using an analogy to assist hearers to examine anew how counter to worldly culture is the way of life of the kingdom of God. (Audio version below)

Pastor Ben Zahn, who serves at Amazing Grace in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, provides an excellent example of allowing the rich pictures of a text to color sermonic language as he proclaims law and gospel.

Audio Recordings

Other Resources

Pless intends this book to provide a contemporary study guide to help readers of Walther’s Law & Gospel to see how richly Walther’s theses still address the 21st century church.

Tim Keller’s book The Prodigal God, an extended sermon on the parable of the Lost Son, provides an example of how to proclaim law and gospel without jargon to a post-Christian culture. There are also some cautions for the reader in this review.

In July 2010 Concordia released this updated translation of Walther’s classic treatment of the proper distinction of law and gospel. Copious study notes frame Walther’s theses.

J. A. O. Preus writes this book to assist those who teach and preach the Word to make fuller use of the rich variety of gospel metaphors found in Scripture.

Freshness and Variety in Proclaiming Law and Gospel

Is there a more “regularly performed function” in preaching than proclaiming law and gospel? Is anything more critical for us to do well?

Read More

Four Critical Elements to Renewing Law/Gospel Freshness and Variety

A Scylla and Charybdis threaten Lutheran preachers as they approach employing proper law/gospel distinctions. In Liturgical Preaching David Schmitt identifies them as “law and gospel negligence” and “law and gospel obsession.

Read More