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Preaching and Paganism

The Forty-Sixth Series of the Lyman Beecher Lectureship on Preaching in Yale University

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Published: 1920
Language: English
Wordcount: 63,845 / 194 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 30.3
LoC Category: BL
Downloads: 381
Added to site: 2005.06.17 10606
Genre: Religion

The chief, perhaps the only, commendation of these chapters is that they pretend to no final solution of the problem which they discuss. How to assert the eternal and objective reality of that Presence, the consciousness of Whom is alike the beginning and the end, the motive and the reward, of the religious experience, is not altogether clear in an age that, for over two centuries, has more and more rejected the transcendental ideas of the human understanding. Yet the consequences of that rejection, in the increasing individualism of conduct which has kept pace with the growing subjectivism of thought, are now sufficiently apparent and the present plight of our civilization is already leading its more characteristic members, the political scientists and the economists, to reŽxamine and reappraise the concepts upon which it is founded.

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ry extinction, such a theme, poetic and rewarding though it is, becomes irrelevant and parochial.

Or we might turn to the problem of technique, that professional equipment for his task as a sermonizer and public speaker which is partly a native endowment and partly a laborious acquisition on the preacher's part. Such was President Tucker's course on The Making and Unmaking of the Preacher. Certainly observations on professional technique, especially if they should include, like his, acute discussion of the speaker's obligation to honesty of thinking, no less than integrity of conduct; of the immorality of the pragmatic standard of mere effectiveness or immediate efficiency in the selection of material; of the aesthetic folly and ethical dubiety of simulated extempore speaking and genuinely impromptu prayers, would not be superfluous. But, on the other hand, we may hope to accomplish much of this indirectly today. Because there is no way of handling specifically either the content of the Christ



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