The Sermon and the Preacher
If preaching is to be meaningful, it must speak to the postmodern world. Postmodern preaching has to take into account a growing recognition of the relativity of knowledge, the increasing irrelevance of traditional definitions, especially religious definitions, the limits of science and rationalism, and the reality that our culture is drowning in information.
Meaningful preaching requires that spirituality be informed by reason and theological reflection. Otherwise, spirituality is in danger of becoming eccentric. Likewise, reason must be enlivened by imagination and faith. If not, rationality alone will be deadening to the spirit. The synthesis of reason and faith is wisdom, and the content of postmodern preaching must be grounded more in wisdom than in information.
The results of preaching must be transformative, not merely intellectually stimulating. And the style of the preacher must be more like that of a trusted companion than that of “an expert from afar.” The day is long past when the Sunday sermon is the primary source for our information, stimulation, or entertainment. What is needed in postmodern preaching is wisdom, spiritual depth, and human companionship for our uncertain journey.