Friday, December 5, 2008

Render unto God the things that belong to God

Clifton Kirkpatrick
Visiting Professor of Ecumenical Studies and Global Missions

December 3, 2008
Isaiah 2: 1-4
Luke 20: 19-26

A sermon offered on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Louiville Seminary celebrates Human Rights day through worship and through the commissioning of students and faculty who will be traveling to two parts of the world where human rights are fragile, South Africa and Israel/Palestine. Two of the lectionary texts for Dec. 3 call for turning swords into ploughshares and rendering unto God the things that are God’s. These texts inspired Christians sixty years ago to call for a universal declaration of human rights – and should do so for us as well in the 21st century. Listen to the sermon.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Relationalism and Relativism in Interfaith Conversation

David R. Sawyer
Director of Lifelong Learning and Advanced Degrees, and Professor of Ministry

November 21, 2008
Acts 4: 1-13

Reacting to an advertisement in which “Evangelicals” offer respect to Jews but insist that they still must proselytize, I went to the full text of their “proof text” to see the context. I discovered there a Christological Kerygma which set up a contrast between the power of the Saduccees to enforce the status quo, and the power of the name of Jesus to bring healing and wholeness to even the most marginal. The message of resurrection represents discontinuous change and was thus threatening to the party in power in Jerusalem. The message of the passage is not about a mental assent to doctrine, but a healing, transforming relationship with God that is not exclusive. An ongoing relationship with a group of Muslim scholars who visit the seminary frequently illustrates the point of a holistic salvation. Listen to the sermon. Read the sermon in PDF.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Welcome! Taking a Chance on Love

Elizabeth Johnson Walker
Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling

November 7, 2008
John 3:16 - 17, 21
Welcome! Taking a Chance on Love is a sermon that was preached in a worship service designed to introduce a project sponsored by the Cultural Diversity Committee at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary on November 7, 2008. The name of the project is “The Power of Difference and the Experience of Difference”. The title of the project and the title of the sermon express the tie-in to our new seminary “brand,” and invite a theological understanding of all sorts of difference and the promise of welcome.
Listen to the sermon. Read the sermon in PDF.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Restless for Righteousness: How to Cleanse Your Life of Idols and Worship God the Right Way

Christopher Elwood
Professor of Historical Theology

2 Kings 22:8-23:23
October 31, 2008

When Hilkiah accidentally turned up a long-lost book of the Law in the temple, Josiah, the king, was so upset to learn how far the nation had departed from what God ordained that he tore his clothes. Then he set about a vigorous campaign of worship reform. This seems a good passage to reflect on as we mark Reformation Day. The Reformation was about many things, but—at least for those who helped build the traditions that would become Reformed Protestantism—“getting our worship right” was always a central task, though always fraught with difficulty. How do we get worship right today, in a time and in places marked by enormous cultural differences? Listen to the sermon.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Miracle without End

Dean K. Thompson
President and Professor of Ministry

October 3, 2008
Mark 16:1-8

Ever since the resurrection, the Spirit of Jesus Christ is everywhere, unlimited by time and space. This is Mark’s almost unbelievable confession about this miracle without end. Not bound or confined or limited by anything, Jesus is going ahead of you. Listen to the sermon. Read the sermon in PDF.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Exploring Time

Frances S. Adeney
William A. Benfield, Jr. Professor of Evangelism and Global Mission

October 10, 2008
Genesis 1:31-32
Psalm 136:1-3
Ezekiel 13:26-28
Matthew 4:17
1Thessalonians 4: 16-17
1Thessalonians 5:1-3
1John 2:18
1 John 5:11
Revelation 22:7

In our scripture readings today we encounter multiple views of time. Our understanding of time itself is conditioned by language, economic and political relations, religious faith, and social organization. We are challenged to think about time (and language) from a Christian perspective. Listen to the sermon. Read the sermon in PDF.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Treasures New and Old

Douglas L. Gragg
Associate Professor of Bibliography and Research
Director of Library and Information Technology Services

September 26, 2008
Matthew 13:52

Some affirm the old without hesitation but consistently reject the new. Others are more likely to welcome everything new but show little patience for engaging tradition creatively. Many just like things the way they are and dislike the intrusion of anything different, whether old or new. “Scribes trained for the kingdom” know how to appreciate both old and new, relate them in creative ways, and deploy them for the enrichment of others. Listen to the sermon. Read the sermon in PDF.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Focus. Relinquish. Love

Susan R. Garrett
Professor of New Testament

September 12, 2008
Proverbs 8:22-36
Philippians 2:5-11

Paul’s letter reminds us to put aside discord and work together to focus on the mission of the church. Read the sermon in PDF. (We are sorry to not have the audio version available for this sermon. There was an equipment malfunction that prevented the recording.)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Holiness, Neighbors, and Strangers

David Hester
Dean of the Seminary, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Harrison Ray Anderson Professor of Ministry
September 5, 2008
Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18
Luke 10: 25-37

The “welcoming” community at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary is challenged to live fully into that welcome that all may feel loved, honored, and respected as we being the academic year together. Listen to the sermon. Read the sermon in .pdf.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Total Praise: A Vision for Holistic and Interconnected Christian Lives

Debra J. Mumford,
Frank H. Caldwell Assistant Professor of Homiletics

Fall Convocation
September 4, 2008
Romans 12:1-8

The twelfth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans puts us on the path to living lives of total praise by challenging us to think communally. Paul and other first century followers of Christ would be extremely curious about our twenty-first century individualistic culture wherein we espouse rugged individualism and a pull-ourselves-up-by the-bootstraps mentality. Listen to the sermon. Read the sermon in .pdf.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Acts 2:1-21

Stephanie Sorge Wing
Student Body President

Acts 2:1-21
May 9, 2008

The Student Body President is invited to lead the last worship service of the academic year in Caldwell Chapel. The sermon leads us to ponder the meaning of community and how the Holy Spirit works through a community of believers.
Listen to the sermon. Read the sermon in PDF.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Whatever the Day Brings

Susan R. Garrett
Professor of New Testament

Romans 8:11-17
LPTS Baccalaureate Sermon
May 18, 2008

In this Baccalaureate service focusing on baptism, Dr. Garrett explores how our new life in Christ is possible, and how we should live our lives to fulfill the promise of our baptism. Our new life comes about because of a death—Jesus’ death, in which as Christians we share. But death couldn’t hold Jesus, and it can’t hold us, either. Listen to the sermon. Read the sermon in PDF

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Luke 24

J. Bradley Wigger
Second Presbyterian Church Professor of Christian Education

Psalm 116
Luke 24:13-35
April 4, 2008

Looking at the relationship between food, Christian Education, and faith, Dr. Wigger refers to the story of Jesus on the road to Emmaus and asks, “Where did Jesus go?” Listen to the sermon. Read the sermon in PDF.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

You Can Help Yourself, but Don’t Take Too Much

Teresa Snorton
Executive Director, National Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc

Nehemiah 5:1-12
March 31, 2008

Practices of oppression when institutionalized by the community call us to action and rage. We must confront the behavior as Nehemiah did. Listen to the sermon.
This sermon held in conjunction with the Katie Geneva Cannon Lecture is sponsored by the Women's Center at LPTS.

What’s Going On: Unmasking, Debunking, and Disentangling the Interlocking Forces of Oppressive Institutions and Social Sin

Stacey Floyd-Thomas
Associate Professor of Ethics and Director of Black Church Studies at Brite Divinity School of Texas Christian University

Katie Geneva Cannon Lecture
March 30, 2008

How does one reach the current generation of young people dealing with the price of success, grasp of power, loss of cultural memory, and lack of communal support? This new generation deals with the crisis of faith exemplified by their lack of faith in the existence of God. Listen to the lecture. Please note, the lecture begins about 11 minutes into the recording following the introduction of the speaker and her opening remarks.
The Katie Geneva Cannon Lecture is sponsored by the Women's Center at LPTS. You can learn more about the Women's Center by visiting their blog.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Preaching in the Post-Modern World

Otis Moss III
Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago

Greenhoe Lecture
March 3, 2008

How are we to speak to the members of a generation of great potential who are exiled from the church? They live in an environment of tragic contradictions. Destiny and despair fused together change the concept of preaching. This generation no longer knows the stories that traditional preachers love to tell. The text of this lecture is not available.
Listen to the lecture.

That Was Then, This Is Now

Otis Moss III
Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago

Joshua 1:1-5
March 3, 2008

In this sermon Moss proposes that the Church to which we cling is in need of a remix in order to remain a vibrant, active, and influential voice in society. Utilizing terms found in Hip Hop, Moss helps his listeners understand that there is amazing grace in embracing the language of today’s culture and helping today’s youth participate in reviving the place of the Church. The text of this sermon is not available. Listen to the sermon.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Testimony Edit: Writing Ourselves Back into the Story

Anna Carter Florence
Associate Professor of Preaching, Columbia Theological Seminary

Caldwell Lecture
March 4, 2008

A preacher speaks the truth that she sees and believes –a witness at a precise moment in history. We need to be willing to hear the testimony of the preacher, and the preacher needs to be the witness to the story, not the center of the story. Listen to the lecture. The lecture begins five minutes into the recording following the introductory remarks and introduction of the speaker. The text of this lecture is not available.

Counter-Cultural Preaching

Debra J. Mumford
Frank H. Caldwell Assistant Professor of Homiletics

Caldwell Lecture
March 3, 2008

Counter-cultural preaching is Dr. Mumford’s term for a type of prophetic preaching that critiques various aspects of American capitalism. It explores the devastating consequences of consumer culture on personhood and relationships when consumerism overrides all else. Listen to the lecture. Please note that the lecture begins 7 minutes and 30 seconds into the recording following the introductory remarks and introduction of the speaker. Read the lecture in PDF.

The Girl in the Reeds

Anna Carter Florence
Associate Professor of Preaching, Columbia Theological Seminary

Exodus 1:22, 2:1-10
March 4, 2008

The story of Moses and the bulrushes seen from the perspective of his sister and Pharaoh’s daughter can teach new lessons to both worshippers and preachers. Listen to the sermon. The text of this sermon is not available.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Preaching from the Borders: The Impossibility of Hospitality

Cláudio Carvalhaes
Assistant Professor of Worship and Preaching

Greenhoe Lecture
March 4, 2008

Sermons have a strange force. They can change the history of people’s lives and entire communities. What we preach feeds the thread of the cultural values in our society. Preachers have changed and keep on changing the lives of many people around the world. Preachers can and do make history happen. And yet, in spite of this powerful force, to preach is as fragile as a candle in the wind. In order to become a good preacher one has to be, first, a good worshiper. One has to learn to pray and talk to God first, before one is able to talk about God to others. Listen to the lecture. Read the lecture in PDF.

Speak Louder Please, I Can’t Hear You

Cláudio Carvalhaes
Assistant Professor of Worship and Preaching

Genesis 11: 1-9
Acts 2: 1-13
March 5, 2008

This is where we live: between Babel and Pentecost, at, around and within many borders. We all live between Babel and Pentecost. But how are we to construct the city of God within the city of humankind? What shall we do to speak and to hear God’s language? How can we move from Babel from Pentecost? Listen to the sermon. Read the sermon in PDF.

Singing the Lord’s Song in a Capitalistic Society

Debra J. Mumford
Frank H. Caldwell Assistant Professor of Homiletics

Luke 12:13-21
March 2, 2008

Jesus warns the disciples and us to beware of greed in all its forms. This is contrasted with the movie character Gordon Gekko of the movie Wall Street who proclaimed that Greed is good. Listen to the sermon. Read the sermon in PDF.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

This Child Here

Robert Gamble, Director of the non-profit This Child Here
Minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA)

John 1:9-14
February 21, 2008

Robert Gamble of This Child Here spoke to students, faculty, and guests about the situation of children who live on and under the streets of Odessa, Ukraine, and his mission in working with these steet kids. He challenged the audience members to find their true calling. This visit to LPTS was sponsored by the Women's Center. You can visit their blog for more information. Listen to the presentation.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Reading for Freedom

Professor of New Testament

Exodus 32:1-4
Galatians 5:1
February 22, 2008

This service in celebration of African American History Month includes readings and songs exploring the relationship between the Bible, religion, and slavery. The sermon, beginning at minute 22 of the recording, contrasts the hermeneutic of slaveholders with that of the slaves who sang the spirituals, and argues that when our ways of interpreting scripture do not move God’s people forward on the way to freedom, they are moving us backward toward the idols we once served. We are then “submitting again to a yoke of slavery”—the very thing Paul warned us not to do (Gal. 5:1). Hearers are exhorted to preach as one who is free and who, like Harriet Tubman, the Moses of her people, leads others out of bondage and into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. Listen to the service. Read the sermon in PDF.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Summons to God’s Hospitality

Walker, Elizabeth Johnson
Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling

John 3:4-16
February 15, 2008

The parallels between the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and the summoning of God’s people to experience God’s hospitality are drawn in this sermon given the second week of Lent. Our faith begins with the God of Abraham and the promise of God to create a free home in Heaven. God loves and values each of us regardless of color or status. We are assured that all of us are participants in God’s mercy and grace. Listen to the sermon.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Staying on Track through the Desert

Sheldon W. Sorge
Associate Director, The Louisville Institute

Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7
Romans 5:12-19
Matthew 4:1-11
February 8, 2008

The opening Chapel of a new semester coincided this year with the beginning of Lent. The Gospel reading assigned for the beginning of Lent is the story of Jesus’ wilderness temptation. In his sermon, Dr. Sorge draws parallels between Jesus’ time of preparation for ministry in the wilderness, and our own practices of preparation for ministry. He suggests that the ministry Jesus inaugurated by his resistance to the devil in the wilderness is one of reconciliation, reversing the reign of human separation from God and each other that constitutes the story of the Fall. This is the Gospel ministry into which we too are called, and for which we too are being prepared. Listen to the sermon. Read the sermon in PDF.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Liturgical Space as a Territory

Dr. Cláudio Carvalhaes
Assistant Professor of Worship and Preaching

John 4: 1-30
February 7, 2008

As part of the 155th Spring Convocation Service at LPTS, Dr. Cláudio Carvalhaes delivered the convocation address in which he presented an understanding of worship and worship space as intricately connected to the surrounding world. To demonstrate his theme, and with the assistance of members of the student body and several of his international colleagues, Carvalhaes created a liturgical experience that included dramatic readings and music from South America, East Europe, Africa, Asia, and his home country, Brazil. Listen to the address. Read the address in PDF.