"Writing in a vivid style, Jacob D. Myers challenges homiletics to trouble its fealty to both theology and philosophy, so as to assist preaching in dying a certain death. The preacher’s use of language, self-understanding, and relationship to Scripture and to God must be subjected to radical critique, a critique that frees preaching to bear witness to and make space for the divine and human other. This book sparkles with wit and displays Myers’s broad reading in theology, philosophy, and homiletics, as well as his facility in making links to popular culture and current events. I highly recommend this book to any who want to grapple deeply with the paradox of preaching’s impossibility and its necessity.”
The real question for homiletics in our increasingly postmodern, post-Christian contexts is not how we are going to prevent preaching from dying, but how we are going to help it die a good death. Preaching was not made to live. At most, preaching is a witness, a sign, a crimson X marking a demolition site. The church has developed sophisticated technologies in modernity to give preaching the semblance of life, belying the truth: preaching was born under a death sentence. It was born to die. Only when preaching embraces its own death is it able to live. This book, then, is a bold homiletical manifesto against preaching in support of preaching, and beyond preaching to the entire worship experience. It troubles modern homiletical theologies in light of the trouble always already at work within preaching. Hereby, it supports a way of preaching—and teaching preaching—that moves counter to the “wisdom of this world.” It aims to joins in God’s self-revealed counterlogic of superabundance that saturates and thereby breaks open worldly systems of thought and practice. The purpose of this book is to expose preaching to its own death—to help it embrace its death—so that it can discover what eternal and abundant life might look and feels like.
- Publisher Fortress Press
- Format Paperback
- ISBN 9781506411866
- eBook ISBN 9781506411873
- Dimensions 6 x 9
- Pages 240
- Publication Date November 1, 2017
Introduction: Preaching Must Die!
1. Before One’s Time: Troubling Language
2. Crossing Over to the Other Side: Troubling the Preacher
3. The Gift of Death: Troubling Scripture
4. Giving Up the Ghost: Troubling God
Conclusion: Preaching Meets Its Maker, Perchance
Review in Homiletics
This book sparkles with wit and displays Myers’s broad reading in theology, philosophy, and homiletics.
Preaching Must Die! is a crucial addition to the conversation about postmodernity and preaching.
“Preaching Must Die! is a crucial addition to the conversation about postmodernity and preaching. Myers deconstructs modern preaching’s linguistic, metaphysical, political, and theological assumptions and observes vital signs of a ‘bold humility’ through which preaching might be resurrected in the pluralistic and postmodern context we have now entered.”
There is something here to trouble just about everybody.
“Much ink has been spilled in the name of postmodern homiletics. But Jacob D. Myers’s book lives into that phrase with new and devastating effect. There is something here to trouble just about everybody. This ‘stiff drink of homiletical hemlock’ is all the more unsettling because it goes down so easily.”
An uncompromising, original, and spicy statement about why preaching must meet its maker.
“Myers makes an uncompromising, original, and spicy statement about why preaching must meet its maker in order to incarnate the impossible and enunciate humble dreams of welcome for a divine that might arrive at any moment.”