On Monday, Fuller (and specifically the Brehm Center’s Ogilvie Institute of Preaching) hosted what was called a “Preaching Summit.” The event was part of the announcement of the new Lloyd John Ogilvie chair of preaching, Mark Labberton. Noted preachers and teachers of preaching from across the country (and one from South Africa) came to Pasadena to participate in discussions focused on the intersection of preaching and culture and how a seminary like Fuller can better prepare its students to be preachers in the 21st century world. After discussions throughout the day, there was an evening discussion open to the public entitled “Preaching and Culture Making” moderated by Andy Crouch.
I appreciated the chance to hear from some of the top voices that have shaped the current state of preaching/homiletics. A couple of quotes that I scribbled down (which means they may not be verbatim and may need further contextualization in order to make sense):
“The problem is we’re trying to put into speech the odd fact that God came in a form we did not expect and did not want.” (Will Willimon)
“We are preaching to needs God doesn’t give a rip about [and should instead be] preaching to needs that the gospel cares about” (Willimon)
“The job of preaching is to help people find the arms of culture which they need to abandon and let die, and find and embrace those which are in line with following Jesus” (Peter Storey)
“Until you unwrap your gospel from the red white and blue, you have nothing to say.” (Storey)
“[I have learned the importance of] sitting still long enough to care about a people” (Renita Weems)
“Preachers need to be desperate for God. (Ken Fong)
It was a great opportunity to engage some of the top minds in this area. As my friend Matt noted on his blog, the evening event drew a diverse group of people and contributed to a much needed dialogue on the future of preaching.