Fortress Press

Kindling Desire for God: Preaching as Spiritual Direction

Kindling Desire for God

Preaching as Spiritual Direction

Kay L. Northcutt (Author)

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The discipline of preaching has undergone several evolutionary moments in the past century, focusing on its purpose as being variously persuasion, explanation, and, most recently, communication. Of particular and lingering influence has been Harry Emerson Fosdick's "preaching as counseling" model, which urged therapeutic, individualistic methods upon the pastor. In the search for a model of preaching that is apt for our postmodern moment, Kay Northcutt respectfully eschews these earlier models and suggests that the "what" of preaching should consist in spiritual formation or the practice of "spiritual direction" — pointing listeners to God. Taking an evocative, rather than "how-to," approach, Northcutt notes the gaps created by these earlier models and makes a case not only for framing preaching as an "attractive art" but also for understanding the preacher's authority as particularly religious in nature. By demonstrating the dynamics of her model of preaching as spiritual direction, the author provides readers with a new paradigm for developing their own homiletical discipline.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800662639
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 160
  • Publication Date January 2, 2009


"Kindling Desire for God is as unexpected and as refreshing as a sudden prairie rainstorm. It disrupts the dry and commonplace assumptions too many of us hold about sermons and brings a welcome renewal of the preaching landscape. Kay Northcutt invigorates the pulpit ministry by bringing us back to the central purposes of preaching: faithful guidance and orientation to God."
—Thomas G. Long
Candler School of Theology

"What a fine book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Using ancient and modern stories, solid theological reasoning, and her vast experience as a pastor, Northcutt gives the reader a glimpse of the transformational power to be released by linking preaching to the art of spiritual direction."
—Jane E. Vennard
Spiritual Director and Senior Adjunct Faculty
Iliff School of Theology


Review from Homiletic, Vol. 34, No. 2 (2009);   Adobe Acrobat Document

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