Preaching God's Grand Drama

A Biblical-Theological Approach

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How can preachers preach biblically faithful sermons that move listeners to positive action? An author on the cutting edge of contemporary homiletics and theology offers a fresh approach to preaching that helps listeners see themselves as actors in God's grand drama. Ahmi Lee presents a unifying "third way" in homiletical approaches (i.e., theodramatic) that reimagines the preacher's role in relation to the Bible, the congregation, and the world. The book not only helps students understand various preaching models but also is relevant to working preachers who want to critique and improve their approach. Foreword by Mark Labberton.

Contents
Foreword Mark Labberton
Introduction
1. The Traditional Homiletic: Truth Mined, Truth Proclaimed
2. The Conversational Homiletic: Communal Meaning-Making
3. A Critique of the Conversational Homiletic
4. A Dramatic Approach to Theology
5. The Shape of a Theodramatic Homiletic
6. Four Perspectives at Play within a Theodramatic Homiletic
Index


Endorsements

"The sermon is the best weapon in the pastor's arsenal for taking every thought, and our imaginations, captive to Christ, which is why preaching may be the quintessential theological act. But what kind of act is it? Ahmi Lee describes the two prevailing models, didactic and dialogical, and proposes a third model, the dramatic, that preserves the best of the other two (the emphasis on doctrine and life experience, respectively) while avoiding their weaknesses. She rightly sees that the ministry of proclaiming God's Word is an invitation to disciples to enter into the historical drama of Jesus Christ as actors who participate in this story made flesh. Lee's proposal for a theodramatic homiletic provides pastors with the tonic they need to communicate the gospel effectively to our increasingly secularized, disenchanted age."

Kevin J. Vanhoozer, research professor of systematic theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"Too many homiletics books frustrate their readers with predictable and played out hermeneutical scripts, such as the preacher-as-exalted-interpreter or the preacher-as-humiliated-subject. Thankfully, Ahmi Lee breaks free from these flat and stale patterns of description. Preaching God's Grand Drama offers us a better script, a fresher performance than the typical proposals, one that holds promise for preachers and for preaching both now and in the future."

Jared E. Alcántara, associate professor of preaching, Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University; author of The Practices of Christian Preaching

"Ahmi Lee has provided us with a fresh way of looking at the task of preaching. She calls us to acknowledge the 'theodramatic' nature of God's work and our work in proclaiming the Word. For preachers who are weary of having to choose either 'textual' or 'topical' preaching, Preaching God's Grand Drama offers a profoundly rich vision that will inform and inspire an alternative way of seeing that stretches the homiletical imagination to more theologically fitting dimensions. This book is a wonderful example of the kind of integrative thinking we urgently need to practice as preachers and teachers of preaching. I hope it will be widely read."

Michael Pasquarello III, Beeson Professor of Methodist Divinity, director of the Robert Smith Jr. Preaching Institute, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University

"Pioneering new homiletical territory, Ahmi Lee's Preaching God's Grand Drama invites propositional preachers and conversational preachers to explore their respective sermonic philosophies and methodologies. Well written and insightful, Lee's book presents an intriguing 'third way,' explaining the art and craft of preaching that will meet and greet a wide spectrum of twenty-first-century listeners seated in the pews."

Matthew D. Kim, associate professor of preaching and ministry, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; author of Preaching with Cultural Intelligence

"Ahmi Lee's vision of theodramatic preaching presents a lively and artful middle way between propositional and conversational preaching. By centering on an encounter with God in both the sermon and the world, Lee proposes a homiletic that encourages preachers to offer an essential balm for our wounded times."

Paul Scott Wilson, professor of homiletics, Emmanuel College, University of Toronto

"In an effort to be serious about the Bible as the source of doctrinal truths, have we missed the forest for the trees? Have we atomized Scripture into so many disparate ideas that we have missed its central unifying drama? Ahmi Lee thinks so and wants to encourage pastors to preach the Bible as narrating a single dramatic story in which we are all characters as we dwell in Christ. The Bible narrates a cracking good story. And it is our story! Lee helps preachers perform this grand narrative in ways that will transform everyday lives in the light of God's ongoing dramatic actions in the world."

Scott Hoezee, director, The Center for Excellence in Preaching, Calvin Theological Seminary


The Author

  1. Ahmi Lee
    Nate Harrison, Fuller Studio

    Ahmi Lee

    Ahmi Lee (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is assistant professor of preaching at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. She has served in congregations in the Chicago area in various capacities, and she is an active preacher and speaker worldwide.

    Continue reading about Ahmi Lee


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