Stanford University The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute
Volume I, 30 November 1948-16 February 1949

Volume I Table of Contents

Transcriptions are intended to reproduce the source document accurately, adhering to the exact wording and punctuation of the original. In general, errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar have been neither corrected nor indicated by [sic].

Notes on Sermon Theory

30 November 1948-16 February 1949

Types Of Outline

(1) The ladder sermon-it takes one from point to points. It is a type of structure well adapted to argument persuasion and the appeal to reason. There is always a place for reasoned argument in the practice of preaching.

(2) Jewel sermons-this consists of turning and idea around as one might turn a jewel in his fingers. Its usefullness consist in unity of theme, with diversity of relationship and application (allowing) diffeent facets to catch the light and throw it into different realms of experience.

(3) The classification sermon-this is based in dividing people and things into different classes or types. When a speaker says, "there are four ways of acting in this situation," many of Jesus parables are classifications.

(4) The skyrocket sermon is also very interesting. It is usually a life-situation sermon. This name is given because its movement follows that of a skyrocket in that it begins on the ground, rises to a height, then breaks into pieces and comes down to earth again. So the sermon begins on ground, in life; it travels up to a spiritual truth which has meaning for that situation on earth; and then the sermon comes down in seperate divisions to that situation.

(5) The turn Sermon-So called because it has two divisions. It is usually setting forth opposing or contrasting aspects of one truth or one word of scripture. A good example is a sermon on "Living one day at a time."

(6) The analogy sermon-This is the effort to impress a truth by analogy. A good example is that used in the forth Gospel. "I am the door," "I am the good shepherd."

(7) The surprise package sermon -This is a sermon which, after it gets started and the ending scene predictable marks a surprise turning into unexpected territory. For an instance the text, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" may be a good starting point. Later the audience discovers that the point of the sermon is that is is also good to receive, the sermon being on the grace or art of receiving.

(8) The chase sermon-This is in essence getting an audience to explore a problem and pursue a solution rather than merely anouncing the results to them.

(9) The rebuttal sermon-It is, in the main, an answer to something that is considered false and dangerously misleading. A good example is to preach against the the statement of Karl Marx, 'Religion is the opiate of the people.'

 Sermon-And Seeing the Multitude he went up into the maintain-All preaching grows out of the needs of the people.

Unless the critical approach helps you to understand a thing more it is no good.
You don't preach knowledge; you use knowledge to preach.
If a man doesn't make use of the Bible, he misses a great source of Doctrinal preaching.

 Preperation of the Minister

The making of a Preacher - Mcgregor
The preaching Ministry of today - Schlock
[illegible] of God - James Stewart
*In the Minster's Workshop - Succark

Beecher-
*The mystery of Preaching - J. Black
The miracle of "" - J. E. Park
*Preperation & Delivery of sermons - C.S. Paton
The Fine Art of Preaching - Blackwood
Charles M. Brown - The art of Preaching

Matthews - Psuedoepigraphs

228 M43
204 R275
110 W63
201 W63
231W636

Preaching is a mixture of emotion and intellect. The dominant factor is a sermon is the object to be attained.

Title - is the way of indicating
Theme - (subject) the thing you are saying to the people.
Purpose - What do you expect to accomplish in your particular sermon.

I must attempt to get people to see, do, or be something.

Preaching is for the

When you deliver a sermon you must take into account the condition in which the sermon is preached. It is not an isolated fact. The sermon is a distinct art form just as the drama, an essay.

The Literary preperation of sermons

(1) Title (2) Theme (3) Purpose (4)Introduction (5) Body (6) Conclusion. These six things are in every sermon.

Title - is primarily for advertising purposes. The title is not the theme or subject.

 Conclusion
1. recapitulation of what you have said
2. Bringing the audience to a place where there is emotional impact.

 Obedience to the Unenforceable.

There is an area in life which can't be enforced by law. Are we obedient to the unenforceable?

Preaching is not having to say something, but having something to say.

the best way to get inspiration in through prespiration.

Sorces of Material
1. The Bible
2. Life's situations
3. Literature
4. Personal Experience
5. News items
6. Imagination

Ways to collect material for sermon
There should be some type of filing system.

Roach - Preaching Values in the Bible
Coffin - What to Preach

Last week we attempted to discuss the purpose of education. This week our discussion maoves toward [illegible].

Preaching from the Bible.
Although the Bible is not the only source of preaching, it is one of the main sources.

If we agree that a sermon is the conveyance of a truth, then it is not necessary to preach from the Bible.

A man should not read the bible to get a sermon; he should read the bible and get a sermon. A man should not read the bible to get inspiration. He should read the bible and get inspiration.

Job 19:25

[Collosians?] 2:21

Acts 26:28

Gen 31:49

Ps 121:1

Home  |  About Us  |  Contact Us  |  Copyright Information  |  The King Center  |  RSS