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Publication Date: 17 Nov 2016
Publisher: SPCK Publishing
Page Count: 160
Author: Jamie Harrison
ISBN-13: 9780281076482, 9780281076499

Wrestling with the Word

Preaching On Tricky Texts
By Jamie Harrison
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ISBN: 9780281076482
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ISBN: 9780281076499
Many biblical texts seem almost impossible to preach. They may be violent or terrifying or strange or abrasive. They may deal with matters simply beyond human experience. The preacher could well be tempted to choose an easier text on offer! But leaving taxing passages untouched means the Bible is effectively silenced.

In Wrestling with the Word, well-known and accomplished preachers grapple with a range of notoriously difficult biblical Old and New Testament texts. As well as providing sample sermons – in an exhilarating variety of structural styles and voices – they offer ideas to help in the planning process of interpreting and applying such passages.

'A well-constructed and delivered sermon has the potential to inspire people as few other experiences can.'
The Rt Revd John Pritchard, from the Foreword
About the Author
KATE BRUCE is tutor in preaching at Cranmer Hall on BA and MA courses, holds a PhD in Preaching and Imagination, and is on the executive of the College of Preachers.She is a sought after preacher and teacher of preaching (Reader training, clergy IME/CME, CRE seminar stream, free church training courses, collaboration with other TEI’s). She chairs the successful Durham Preaching Conference and launched The Durham Preaching School in 2015, working with younger preachers in a variety of contexts. She is passionate about imaginative preaching and committed to preaching and encouraging others to preach across the whole of the bible, rather than cherry picking texts.

JAMIE HARRISON has been a Reader for over 30 years in a variety of church contexts and is a former Chair of the Ely Diocesan Readers’ Board. He is a lay member of the General Synod and of the Clergy Discipline Commission, a Lay Canon of Durham Cathedral and a Reader at St Nicholas, Durham.
Press Reviews

Kate Bruce has done congregations a great service by offering preachers a feast of ideas, insights and worked examples on the underexplored theme of preaching with the imagination. Her analysis is anchored in careful theology and attentive awareness of the contexts and cultures in which preaching is offered and received. The result is a gracious, well-argued and timely book, a treat-in-waiting for all preachers still alive to their task.

- John Pritchard on Igniting the Heart

Just occasionally weary preachers stub their toes against treasure hidden beneath the surface of a well-trodden path. In this book Kate Bruce draws on her considerable experience as school teacher, parish priest, theological college tutor and stand-up comic. With an assured grasp of homiletic theory and a passion for creative sermon construction, she shows us how the imagination can disclose new worlds, turn our assumptions upside down, provoke us to ask ‘what if?’ and help us live in the minds of other people. In this she follows the example of Jesus who did not despise the parable, the haunting image, or the disturbing paradox. This is a book for preachers who would prefer their sermons to dance and sing rather than trudge, hobble and plod.

- David Day on Igniting the Heart

Tired of dull boring sermons with no theological depth? And tired of dull boring books on preaching which equally lack theological depth? This book is the solution! Kate Bruce is an outstanding practitioner and teacher of preaching. Out of that expertise she shows how the interaction of the imagination with both the biblical text and contemporary culture can transform the preaching event and allow God to work in exciting and relevant ways. Honest, humane and humble, this is the book for all preachers who have a passion for God to speak.

- The Revd Professor David Wilkinson, Principal, St John’s College Durham on Igniting the Heart

Expect to be enriched, challenged, encouraged and inspired by this book. Kate Bruce argues that the sermon is essential in the life of the Church and that imagination is essential for preaching that ignites the heart. An exploration of the theology of imagination and language, examples from sermons, models of preaching and guidance for good practice are offered in a book which will appeal to a wide readership. I commend this book to all preachers who hope that through their sermons God will be encountered as the Spirit breathes life into their words and hearts are warmed.

- The Revd Ruth Gee, Chair of the Darlington District of the Methodist Church on Igniting the Heart

Kate Bruce skips the conventional wisdom related to preaching and tackles the peculiar challenges and demands of the craft itself. She walks the reader through the creative process toward a fuller realization of the sacramental imagination. Her valuable book will remind us all--whether beginner or busy pastor--to love and cultivate the art we practice.

- Richard Lischer, Duke Divinity School, Author of The End of Words and Reading the Parables on Igniting the Heart

Fascinating, enticing and beguiling.

- Church Times

Interesting and stimulating ideas.

- Evangelicals Now, April 2017 edition

'compelling reading’, a ‘treasure trove of ideas’- Issue 12

- Preach

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