Preaching in the Lutheran Tradition
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Preaching in the Lutheran tradition
The ministry of preaching has traditionally been regarded as the most important characteristic - the sine qua non - of the Lutheran church. Luther characterized preaching as an indispensable means of grace, regarding it central to the church liturgy. Contemporary Lutheran preachers, however, often find themselves in a dilemma trying to integrate traditional Lutheran ideals with contemporary practical experiences of preaching. The following portrait of preaching in the Lutheran tradition is written from the perspective of the Lutheran Evangelical Church of Denmark.
On one hand there is a strong reformed emphasis on the belief that Preadicatio verbi dei est verbum dei - The preaching of the Word of God is the Word of God. On the other hand the majority of preachers cannot easily make themselves advocates for continuing the category, "Word of God", as a homiletical basis. The dialectical theology's attempt of reviving the category, in the middle of the 20th century, led homiletics into too grave difficulties and has been accused of great co-responsibility for the drying out of the church's preaching tradition. The claim that preaching is the Word of God has, in the opinion of many preachers and homileticians, led to too much listener-immune, monological preaching. Yet, Although most preachers struggle to identify with a traditional high homiletics, the continuing study of Luther within Danish theology contributes to a continued consciousness among preachers about the belief that proclamation demands to be understood somehow as the "Word of God".
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|Published - 2010