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2010 Seminars

From Text to Sermon
July 19 - 23, 2010

Directed by
Frederick Dale Bruner, Scott Hoezee
Fuller Theological Seminary, Calvin Theological Seminary

Funds provided by the Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary

Seminar Description

Good sermons grow out of excellent textual work. Today, however, the demands on a pastor’s schedule all-too-often mean that taking the time needed to engage the text at a significant exegetical level is squeezed out. Pastors instead opt for what is easy: pre-packaged sermons from the Internet or sermons that scratch only the surface of the text while devoting significant time to telling stories or addressing trendy topics that are considered “hot” or “relevant” in the current cultural milieu. But preaching that turns away from Scripture will not feed God's people with the nourishment of the Word they need nor will such sermons be something about which one can say with confidence, “Thus saith the Lord.” This workshop will aim to return preachers to their single greatest resource and homiletical foundation: the Word of God. Frederick Dale Bruner will help pastors not only retrieve the tools of good textual work, he will make those pastors hunger to use those tools again by delving into gospel stories and displaying the fruit of his own many years of study on especially the Gospels of Matthew and John. Scott Hoezee will then provide sample sermon ideas to encourage a discussion of how to approach these texts in the construction of a sermon.

To acomplish this, Frederick Dale Bruner will spend the week displaying the joy and the verve that comes from opening up God’s Word through a prayerful, rigorous exegesis and study of the text. Dr. Bruner will spend each morning workshopping a text after which Scott Hoezee will present a sermon or meditation on that text, which will then lead to a discussion on various ways to preach on the text under consideration. In the course of the week discussions will also be held on a few other preaching-related topics, including the "Four Pages" method of sermon preparation and how to preserve freshness in sermon language, illustrations and presentations. The goal of the week will be to deepen the love of biblical study in the hearts of the participating pastors as well as to send them home with a bevy of new ideas about how to feed God's hungry people through preaching each week!

About the Directors

F. Dale Bruner
Renowned biblical scholar Frederick Dale Bruner is the author of several influential books including "A Theology of the Holy Spirit" as well as his landmark two-volume commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, "The Christbook" and "The Churchbook."  Dr. Bruner spent most of his career as a teacher, first at the Union Theological Seminary in the Philippines from 1964-1975 and then at Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington, from 1975-1997.  In recent years Dr. Bruner has been working at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, where he is writing a commentary on the Gospel of John.  Every Sunday he teaches a Bible study class at the First Presbyterian Church in Hollywood. Wherever he has been a professor in a school he has taught an adult Sunday-School class in his church, where he works through whole books of Scripture.   Preachers value Dr. Bruner's commentaries and other writings because of their deep insights into the biblical text and the way those insights so naturally inform and enrich sermons.  Dr. Bruner is married to Kathy and they have two married sons.

Scott Hoezee is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church in North America and has served two congregations. He was the pastor of Second Christian Reformed Church in Fremont, Michigan, from 1990-1993. Then from 1993-2005 he was the Minister of Preaching and Administration at Calvin CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In the spring of 2005 Scott accepted the Seminary’s offer to become the first Director of the Center for Excellence in Preaching. He has also been a member of the Pastor-Theologian Program sponsored by the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey, where he was pastor-in-residence in the fall of 2000. He currently serves as one of three co-editors of "Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought" and is the author of several books including "Proclaim the Wonder: Preaching Science on Sunday" and "Remember Creation."

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