A quote on what preaching pastorally means

Found a rather inspiring quote by Christoph Schwöbel in his introduction to a series of lectures by the late Colin Gunton. Schwöbel tries to address what preaching in crises of hope might mean:

The restoration of hope begins where the grip of despair about exhausted human possibilities is loosened by directing our hearts to God who is not bound by what is humanly possible. This hope is not an empty hope, because it has Christ as its content. It is in the story of Christ that divine possibilities which lead beyond situations of human hopelessness are not only promised but actualised. Preaching pastorally, therefore, implies redirecting our attention from the hopelessness we experience to the story of Christ’s death and resurrection as the transformation from death to life, from hopelessness to a renewed hope.

Christoph Schwöbel, “Introduction: The Preacher’s Art: Preaching Theologically,” in Theology through Preaching: Sermons for Brentwood (Edinburgh; New York: T&T Clark, 2001), 13.


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