Religion: The Changing Sermon

Ever since the Reformation put new emphasis upon the authority of Scripture, the pulpit has been the pride of Protestantism. Nowhere has this pride been more evident than in the U.S., where sermon-centered churches—notably the Baptists and Methodists—flourished with the conquest of the frontier, and such preachers as Henry Ward Beecher and Dwight Lyman Moody became as famous as Presidents, and perhaps as influential.

Even today, the Protestant congregation's first question about a new minister for its church is likely to be: "Is he a good preacher?" Good or bad, today's minister is...

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