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Graceful Speech: An Invitation to Preaching Paperback – August 10, 2006

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Graceful Speech: An Invitation to Preaching + Thinking Theologically: The Preacher As Theologian (Elements of Preaching) + A Sermon Workbook: Exercises in the Art and Craft of Preaching
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press; First Printing edition (August 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664228771
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664228774
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #832,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lucy Lind Hogan is Hugh Latimer Elderdice Professor of Preaching and Worship at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. She is an ordained Episcopal priest and serves as secretary for the Academy of Homiletics. She is the coauthor of Connecting with the Congregation and New Proclamation: Year C, Easter through Pentecost .

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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Walter on January 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Drawing from over twenty years of pastoral and teaching experience, Lucy Lind Hogan, invites the readers of Graceful Speech: An Invitation to Preaching to go deep into what it means to be a preacher. She asks that, as the "nuts and bolts" of preaching are being gathered, a theology in preaching be developed as well. Her holistic approach to preaching addresses what it means to be a preacher, all it requires to craft a sermon, and how to deliver the message to those who are listening. And she graciously reminds her readers that there are people who are in fact listening. She declares, "We have all been invited to join this great cloud of witnesses cheering on the people of God as they run the race set before them."

Other highlights of the book include questions at the end of each chapter that prompt critical thinking, important and necessary suggestions for developing the character for preaching, and a detailed walk through developing the sermon that offers a variety of resources and practical techniques. Understanding that this can be a lofty topic, Hogan, brings her readers back down to earth by offering her own experiences in dealing with the reality of juggling multiple life and job requirements and by using various cultural references; including examples of themes from children's stories to the dancing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

As a seminary student I found this book both encouraging and challenging. Hogan's personal writing style and deep look at what it takes to develop a sermon and be a virtuous preacher allowed me to truly understand the preacher as a whole person. In this vocation we are asked to be vessels of God's word and that requires us to take on the somewhat indefinite task of being righteous.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alex S TOP 50 REVIEWER on December 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Lucy Lind Hogan opens her book with this:
"Each and every day, each and every hour, maybe each and every minute, somewhere in God's globe, the people whom God created and into whom God breathed the breath of life, gather to hear the good news of God's saving love for them."

This book is not intended for everyone, it is intended for those who teach, preach, or tell of that Good News! Unlike other books that teach techniques, this book begins (and ends) with our identity as a preacher. What does it mean to be the one who conveys the love of God? Where do we derive our strength and identity. On what basis do we speak of that love?

Yes, it does include sections on crafting the sermon, but even those focus on meaning within the community and within the text, helping us to identify what it is we need to say, not simply giving formal rules to how to say it.

Best of all, this book is real and practical. My favorite chapter is titled, "The Virtuous Preacher: Even in "Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad" Weeks. We've all had a few of those, and it is good to be reminded that God still calls us to do our very best no matter what the circumstances.

It is a wonderful book to have around for those newly learning, but perhaps even more for those of us who have been "around the block a few times." I found it good to be reminded of all of those things as I continue on my own weekly Sermon prep.
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