Will Willimon reflects generally on congregational reaction to a sermon preached in 1947 that was composed in reaction to the lynching of Willie Earle in 1946. In the context of unpacking the sermon and the situation in which it was preached, Willimon observes that the congregation of Grace Church willingly listened to the challenging subject …

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Preaching for repentance is not the same thing as scolding. It is not telling people they are bad; it is the proclamation of God’s goodness and his loving purpose and work of redemption and new creation. This is why it is good news first and foremost. There is no ground to confuse this with avoidance …

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Christian discipleship can never comfortably rest in the general. It has to be applied in the specific. The more general the repentance, the easier it is to transition from true Gospel dependence on life-giving grace as the response to a reliance on a moralistic determination to do better. Will Willimon writes about preaching to confront …

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