The Common Good
August 2012

Pastoral Resources for Preaching on Social Change

by Elaina Ramsey | August 2012

Learn how to preach for social transformation with these excellent resources.

In a world desperate for change, pastor and homiletics professor Brad Braxton, in his Sojourners article "Leave No Change Behind" (August 2012), offers advice on how to preach for social transformation with passion, courage, and artistry. Here are some resources he recommends—good for preachers and lay people who want to go deeper in speaking about faith-based social change.

  • The Prophets, by Abraham J. Heschel. Written from a Judeo-Christian perspective, this timeless classic explains the powerful and pragmatic witness of Israel’s first prophets. Perennial Classics, 2001
     
  • Cross Talk: Preaching Redemption Here and Now, by Sally A. Brown. Moving beyond the standard atonement theory of salvation, this book encourages clergy to preach a gospel that includes social justice issues and the crosses of this age. Westminster John Knox Press, 2008
     
  • Social Crisis Preaching: The Lyman Beecher Lectures 1983, by Kelly Miller Smith. With careful precision, Smith breaks down how preaching can—and must always be—a means for social change. Mercer University Press, 1984
     
  • The Web of Preaching: New Options in Homiletical Method, by Richard L. Eslinger. Explore fresh ways to develop your preaching style through this contemporary take on homiletics. Abingdon Press, 2002
     
  • Finding Language and Imagery: Words for Holy Speech, by Jennifer L. Ford. To foster a vision of hope and social change within your community, Ford offers imaginative lessons on how to creatively employ language and imagery in sermons. Fortress Press, 2009
     
  • The Great Partnership: God, Science, and the Search for Meaning, by Jonathan Sacks. Arguing that science and religion are not mutually exclusive, Sacks affirms that both faith and scientific reason are necessary to morally respond to the needs of humanity. Hodder & Stoughton, 2011

Elaina Ramsey is assistant editor of Sojourners.

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