Fortress Press

Preaching the Headlines: Possibilities and Pitfalls

Preaching the Headlines

Possibilities and Pitfalls

Lisa L. Thompson (Author)


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Preachers often feel stuck when met with quickly shifting and dense media topics that flood the headlines. If and when they determine it is appropriate to address issues that arise in the news cycle, they are often at a loss for how to speak about them from the pulpit. When preachers understand that a responsibility to sustain life is embedded in the purposes of preaching, they discover greater fluidity between the everyday world, the biblical text, and preaching itself. Preaching the Headlines reframes preaching as an ongoing conversation between the modern world and the world of the Bible, exploring where the divides between the two may be less rigid than we often acknowledge. The preacher uses what they know about life as a bridge to the text, while life in the text provides the bridge back to faith in the contemporary world.

The goal of the book is to help preachers do theological reflection on the everyday world as an integral part of sermon development. The process offered in this book is not a substitute for basic methods of sermon development nor a model of exegesis for preaching. Preachers will use this process as a supplement alongside their current method of sermon preparation. Before the preacher can ever translate the meaning embedded in the headlines, they have to learn more about the topics they seek to preach about. They do this by digging behind the headlines and expanding their own resources beyond theological traditions alone. This work is done in order to think earnestly about how faith might spur transformative action in our world for more just ways of living together.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506453866
  • eBook ISBN 9781506453873
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
  • Pages 144
  • Publication Date August 31, 2021


"In Preaching the Headlines, Thompson makes clear that being a Christian in the world ought to make a difference for the better, and it is a preacher's task to make that clear. This book is a must-read for those who think preaching the gospel matters in a world where it too often seems like 'God is not.'"

Kelly Brown Douglas, Union Theological Seminary

"Thompson not only offers meaningful engagement with preaching but extends an invitation to readers to think deeply about faith and life in the world. If you desire to preach and embody what matters most in the world, this is God's gift to you."

Luke A. Powery, Duke Divinity School

"This book is a powerful intervention for intra-Christian conversations on faith and justice, and it's also more than that. This book is a model for how we can dig in collectively to the issues that matter most, with courage, commitment, and compassion."

Simran Jeet Singh, Senior Fellow for the Sikh Coalition, and columnist for Religion News Service

"The book foregrounds the responsibilities of Christian preaching traditions in co-creating a more just world. Thompson's approach hinges on a nonnegotiable ethic of radical-love-practice that challenges preachers and all of us to say and do what matters most for our personal and collective well-being."

Mark Labberton, Fuller Theological Seminary