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Festival of Homiletics: Barbara Brown Taylor

Now that I'm at Annual Conference, I finally have time to write up my reflections from the Festival of Homiletics which I attended in Atlanta last week - it was fabulous.

First up: Barbara Brown Taylor, who lectured on Day 1, preached Day 2. Mostly unedited notes:

Lecture: Quoting: People in the South conceive of humanity in theological terms. Not Christ-centered, but “Christ-haunted.”

Quoting: “To live in the South is to be marinated in religion”

Quoting, “evil is less a problem to be solved than a mystery to be endured, especially when the evil is in you.”

The Bible, for Southerners, is not just a book for sinners, but a book for losers.

Not only proclaim what we read in the Bible, but how we read it.

The scriptures we turn to most often are usually the verses that describe our own situations the best. (As individuals, as groups.) Remembering there are many pages in the bible that do not have your fingerprints on them. Can’t really read the Bible until you can read your own life.

People give up on Bible, seeing it too fluid. “If two people hear it differently, one of them must be wrong” mentality.

“Prophets saw the apostles as institutional stuffed-shirts and apostles saw prophets as . . . democrats.”

“They read differently . . .”


Ezekiel 3:1-3, Revelation 10:8-11

“Eat This Book”

Literally drinking chalk that has been used to write words of scripture. (What country?)

Taking the word of God inside us must be good for us somehow.

“Edible bible”

Learning letters by honey on slates, licking slate.

Mixing up Bible, Shakespeare, and Poor Richard’s Almanac

Absorbing the Bible.

You need to look before you eat, because you are what you eat.

Ezekiel: “Eat this scroll.”

404 vs. in Rev, 275 of which contain references and allusions to the Old Testament.

Wafers – “harder to believe it is bread than it is to believe the body of Christ.”

Abrupt endings. (This was my comment on the fact that everyone seemed to be concluding their sermons/lectures by just abruptly stopping and slipping out of the pulpit. This seemed a bit weird to me. I like to have a clear wrap-up/denouement of sorts, and say, "Amen," when I'm done preaching. How do you end your sermons?)


Unknown said…
I have started the habit of ending my sermons with, "And all God's people said...Amen." For me it reminds the congregation they were part of the sermon as well, for without listeners the word cannot be heard.

Thanks for the post.
Anonymous said…
I try to end with an ending and then an "Amen" or sometimes I move into a prayer.

Too often, the ending just kind of rolls over and dies, but my goal is to have something that hangs with or stays with people.

Beginnings and endings are highly remembered.

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