Proclamation And Theology Book Review  

William Willimon is one of the best and most well-known authors in the modern Christian world. He is also the professor of Christian Ministry at Duke University. He is a great writer and has over fifty books in print. In his book “Proclamation and Theology” he talks about the common thought that word of God has lost power in this age of Christianity, and he says that the only way that we can truly understand it is through solid and bible focused preaching. When reading this book, I saw this in the way that I view preaching today, and how we see some of those preachers that talk on the prosperity gospel. He talks about how people can be influenced or overwhelmed with the magnitude in the word of God that is displayed constantly in the bible.

In the first chapter, the author argues for “the post-liberal methodology”, and this is the idea of creating a Biblical world in today’s society. This also goes against the style of the “new homiletics”, and this is said because compared to the former method desired to connect the Biblical world with the modern world. As well, in contrast, the “post-liberal method” tries to forcefully and sometimes unintentionally throws the ancient Biblical world into today’s modern world. This is a problem because while this sounds like a good thing it does not help in us truly understanding the bible clearly, because we have to first put ourselves in the shoes of those people during that time in history. This can be done through reexamining what we are preaching and truly growing in our understanding of the most powerful God who is the chief subject of our right style of preaching and he is the keys to any good preaching revival Willimon talks of this in the book by saying: 'I believe that the history of Christian preaching shows that preaching is always revived and carried forth on a rising theological tide' (Willimon 3). This is very important and this is why I had enjoyed reading the book and learning of the fact that when I go to preach I need to be intentional with the bible and to not take the bible out of context.

According to Willimon, the proclamation that we teach must first be understood as the definite Word of God, and we are to say that our preaching is always submissive to and always dependent on the almighty power of God who is speaking to us and through us. Willimon says that the proclamation is a prophetic word in the way of: 'our job as preachers are to stand up and speak the truth as God gives it to us; congregational response is God's business'' (Willimon 22). This is why we need to be solid in how we preach our sermons and that we should use a biblical proclamation in our sermons.

In my personal opinion of the book, I thought it was quite a joy to read, and I thought that Willimon did a great job of reacting and displaying to the readers the new homiletical approach to preaching the gospel. Another thing that I enjoyed was how instead of rooting his thoughts in how an audience would interpret it, he roots his idea of preaching solely in theology. I can personally see in my daily life, why he reacts to the preaching of the church today. I personally really liked Willimon's approach to how the word of God is what is and I like how he said it in the book because I found it to be nice to hear and helps me in my plans of ministry. I believe this book was excellent in the way that it seemed to help to motivate me to be bolder in my preaching of God’s word. One of the reasons that the community of Christ is struggling maybe because people are tired of hearing a message from a man. People can gain better entertainment from other sources. But if the preaching is truly rooted in the word of God and people feel that God is truly speaking to them, then this is a major draw and a refreshing breath of spirit within the congregation. In today's world, people have movies, songs, television, and computers to entertain them and to grasp onto their interests, but if the church replaces the word with the world, this is not going to hold people any longer. I like Willimon's focus on incarnation and authority and how it can truly speak to people because, in a world where people have even smaller levels of Biblical knowledge, a Biblical vocabulary will be incredible for people to know. This will have to take trust and faith but just like Willimon, I most definitely believe that this is the only way for the world to listen. The true message of God is still most definitely powerful and active in today’s society.  

07 July 2022
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