Preach the Word – July/August 2007

Volume 10, Number 6.

The conclusion to Volume 10 of Preach the Word has Pastor Daron Lindemann’s encouragement for pastors who have struggles with attendance, and a Top Ten list that cautions against sermon plagiarism. It also concludes a study guide on Fred B. Craddock’s Preaching.

Consumers of Good Sermons

Which was the best movie of Memorial Day weekend 2007? Although “Spider-Man 3” hauled in $151.1 million three weeks earlier, it was not the best movie of Memorial Day weekend. On that weekend it surrendered to “Shrek the Third,” as Shrek outperformed Spidey by $51 million. But neither of them topped the debut of Disney’s third Jack Sparrow adventure, “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.” . . . The pundits have spoken with their cash. That, apparently, is what makes a good movie these days. With these computations in mind, I suggest that we cancel the World Series this fall and simply award the Major League Baseball trophy to the team with the best attendance. And why not revoke the operating licenses of all department stores, restaurants, and cell phone providers except the ones with the most sales? And then there’s our preaching. . . .

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Top Ten Issues of Plagiarism from the Pulpit

“All preachers borrow from others, and should,” writes Thomas G. Long, professor of preaching at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, in an article called “Stolen Goods: Tempted
to Plagiarize” from Christian Century magazine online. “There is a difference between being a debtor and being a thief. All preachers stand on the shoulders of biblical scholars, theologians and faithful witnesses from across the generations. We do not owe our congregations an original essay; we owe them a fresh act of interpretation.” But, Long admits, gray areas remain. Actually, they abound. . . .

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