Preaching to a Divided Nation

A Seven-Step Model for Promoting Reconciliation and Unity

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We live in angry times. No matter where we go, what we watch, or how we communicate, our culture is rife with division and polarization. Unfortunately, Christians appear to be caught up in the same animosity as the culture at large. While our faith calls us to Christian unity, the hard fact remains: our churches are tragically divided across class, ethnic, gender, and political lines. As these social chasms grow--both inside and outside the church--the role of the preacher becomes paramount.

This book issues a prophetic call to pastors to use the influence of their pulpits to promote reconciliation and unity in their churches and communities. Two scholar-practitioners who are experts in homiletics and reconciliation present a practical, 7-step model that empowers faithful leaders to bring healing and peace to their fractured churches and world. The book includes questions for reflection, salient illustrations, and an accountability covenant. It also includes useful appendixes on preaching themes, preaching texts, and sample sermons from three leading preachers: Ralph Douglas West, Rich Villodas, and Sandra Maria Van Opstal. 

Contents
Introduction
1. The Theological Step--The Problem: The Sins of Pride and Prejudice
2. The Contextual Step--The Problem: America's Past and Present Reality
3. The Personal Step: Facing Our Sin and Acknowledging Our Prejudices
4. The Positional Step: We Are Heralds, Not Heart-Changers
5. The Methodological Step: A Homiletic for Reconciliation and Unity
6. The Practical Step: Pre-Sermon, Mid-Sermon, and Post-Sermon Practices
7. The Categorical Step: Biblical Themes and Texts
Conclusion
Appendix A: Reflections on Critical Race Theory
Appendix B: Sample Homiletical Integrity Covenant
Appendix C: Essential and Nonessential Doctrines, and Gospel Implications
Appendix D: Sample Multichurch Prayer and Unity Service
Appendix E: Ministries Pursuing Reconciliation and Unity
Appendix F: Further Reading
Appendix G: Sample Sermons
On Classism by Paul A. Hoffman
On Ethnocentrism by Ralph Douglas West
On Political Division by Rich Villodas
On Reconciliation by Sandra María Van Opstal
On Sexism by Paul A. Hoffman
On Unity by Matthew D. Kim
Index


The Authors

  1. Matthew D. Kim

    Matthew D. Kim

    Matthew D. Kim (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is the George F. Bennett Professor of Preaching and Practical Theology, director of the Haddon W. Robinson Center for Preaching, and director of Mentored Ministry at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in...

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  2. Paul A. Hoffman
    Marie Guagliardo Photography

    Paul A. Hoffman

    Paul A. Hoffman (PhD, University of Manchester) is senior pastor of Evangelical Friends Church in Newport, Rhode Island. He serves on the Oversight Board for the Evangelical Friends Church-Eastern Region, is an adjunct professor at Barclay College, and is the...

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