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Author Stuart Blythe

Stuart Blythe is associate professor of the John Gladstone Chair in Preaching and Worship at Acadia Divinity College, Nova Scotia.

What’s the goal of preaching a sermon? While every sermon needs to have good content, sermons can have a variety of purposes, including that people may do or experience or believe something, rather than primarily “learn” something. […] Read More

Some folks may question whether street preachers should be allowed in the public square, particularly if they’re annoying or confrontational. The public, however, is better served when such spaces are open for debate. […] Read More

A colleague noted on his Facebook page that he had seen little reference to World Earth Day (April 22). There could be numerous reasons for this. One of them is what ethicist Willis Jenkins calls “moral incompetence.” This is no insult, but the recognition that some issues appear so great that they leave people so […] Read More

We should add to the familiar question, “Who is my neighbor?” the less familiar inquiry, “Who is my neighborhood?” On the final night of a course on worship I’ve been teaching recently, we explored the extent to which our worship services were shaped by their neighborhoods or wider communities. This is a complicated matter. What […] Read More

There are a whole range of special foci outside the big two of Christmas and Easter that can be included as part of regular “worship events.” Epiphany (Jan. 6), Mothering Sunday (the fourth Sunday of Advent), Remembrance Day (Nov. 11), Baptist World Alliance Human Rights Sunday (Dec. 10/11) name but four. I know congregations who […] Read More

I am suspicious. I was suspicious before I ever knew about a hermeneutic of suspicion. I am suspicious that many of us in the “evangelical” (always have to put that in quotes) side of the church are not very comfortable with the humanity of Jesus. You would not think this at Advent or Christmas when […] Read More

The style of proclamation is essential when preaching to confront racism, according to William Willimon, a U.S. theologian and bishop in the United Methodist Church. “What is said by the preacher may not be as important as how it is said. Style, the manner of presentation, tone, the demeanor and intentions of the speaker are […] Read More

To preach against racism is “prophetic.” It is prophetic in “seeing” the presence of such racism that may not be apparent to those of us who live in and benefit from white privilege. It is prophetic in “naming” the issue and naming it as sin. It is prophetic in “talking” publicly about the matter. It […] Read More

William Willimon’s latest book, “Who Lynched Willie Earle? Preaching to Confront Racism,” often draws on his own Methodist tradition in order to honestly name racism as sin and engage in acts of “detoxification, renovation and reparation.” Yet, his book contains several explicit “Baptist” themes, and Willimon draws upon aspects of the evangelical conversionist Methodist strand, […] Read More

It seems that in some current literature and discussions, there is something of a competition as to which should be placed first: church, mission or discipleship. In this competition the order is important because that which is named first is posited as the prism through which the other two are to be understood and configured. […] Read More