As I was peering out the front window from behind the living room curtain (something I do more times a day than I want to admit—you never know who could be around—and that white panel van is still parked across the street three houses down) I saw a man, thin, thinning hair swept back but falling, 50’s in a rain coat. It was raining, so this is not remarkable, but he was walking his dog (presumably his), a medium size whitish one (no knower of dog breeds me) and the dog was wearing a matching rain coat.
This, of course, made me think of destabilization as it relates to preaching. Reading the text and preaching. I remember a preaching professor, in seminary (or was it an instructional DVD Our Senior Pastor insistently suggested I watch?) laying out a sort of formula for how often one should preach a Prophetic and as apposed to a Pastoral sermon. I think the ratio was at the most 1 in 12. One Prophetic sermon for every twelve Pastoral sermon. I think this pro fessor defined a Prophetic sermon as one that, “challenges, confronts and requires of the congregation, some period of self examination.” A Pastor sermons, “encourages, comforts and reinforces deeply held beliefs.”
Encourages what? What does the 48 weeks out of a year sermon encourage? In what way and for what reason does it comfort? And, truly, most disturbingly, what are the deeply held beliefs does it reinforce?