How Much Does The Preaching Matter?

In mainline white churches, it was a lost art for a generation, but there are signs that the sermon may be having a revival all its own

The word that keeps coming back is hunger. Scholars talk about it, but so do preachers and parishioners. The reason that preaching is enjoying a revival in churches where it was a dying art, say religion scholars, has to do with appetites that are harder to satisfy outside church, as the culture grows noisier and more coarse. "People will come to church if they know they will be fed there--fed with the experience of an encounter with Christ," argues Robert Klonowski, a Lutheran minister in Chicago. "Billy Graham is no different than the weekly preacher. The job is the same."

The...

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