Making Good Preaching Better explores not the preaching of ethics but the ethics of preaching. Using sound theology and practical insights, this book shows that by putting themselves in the place of the people in the pews, preachers can improve their sermons and make good preaching better more consistently.
Written with the practicing homilist in mind, Making Good Preaching Better helps motivate and sharpen the skills of those in preaching ministry. Laid out as a teaching tool for classroom use, it also makes the work of the homiletic professor easier.
Reverend Rueter explains how the same qualities - visual, oral, cohesive - that make it possible for preachers to remember their sermons also make it possible for parishioners to remember these sermons. He also explores concepts not covered in other homiletics books, such as the legitimate appeal to self-interest as observed in Jesus, Paul, and Moses, how to deal with "hard," controversial topics, and tips for remembering homilies.
Reverend Rueter bases his approach on the time-proven step-by-step pedagogy used in the first-century schools of rhetoric. He believes that requiring novices to prepare whole homilies for criticism presents too many possibilities for failure and thus discouragement. With its step-by-step homiletical exercises, Making Good Preaching Better gives students greater possibilities of the joy of success in putting together entire homiliesone step at a time.
Making Good Preaching Better offers three-minute oral exercises to be performed before a video camera. Each exercise uses the theological/homiletical principles explained in that chapter and includes suggestions on how to conduct the video lab sessions without provoking dread but rather, by promoting affirmation. Fourteen homilies (by the author and others) are supplied for both professionals and novices to critique. To supplement the instruction, recommendations for additional readings are provided at the end of each chapter.
Roman Catholic and Protestant clergy, seminarians, and those in Roman Catholic diaconate formation programs will benefit from this practical textbook.
Reverend Rueter wrote this book asking several questions: "How does rhetoric agree with Christian theology?" "Why aren't homiletics books laid out as teaching tools?" and "Why don't we teach homilists the skills of rhetoric?" He answers with Making Good Preaching Better. Alvin C. Rueter, Ph.D., a Lutheran pastor, conducts preaching workshops and teaches homiletics in the Formation Program for Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He also teaches homiletics at the School of Theology, St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota. He also hosts and produces a weekly radio program, Sing for Joy, and for several years wrote a monthly column, "People-Centered Preaching," for Emphasis. He earned a Ph.D. in speech communication from the University of Minnesota.