Why Preach?

Why preach? It seems to me that as I move around the world the kind of talk people have, for the most part, with each other is of no great consequence. They talk about whatever comes up, the books you've read or the weather, what happened yesterday, or something like that. Very rarely do you talk about things that really matter, about death, about life, about hope, about despair, about grief, and about joy. The pulpit is one of the few places you can speak about that and where people are prepared to listen to that and don't feel threatened by that but are opened to the possibility of conversation about these ultimate matters, the sort of inner most crucial frontier which all of us stand on which is a frontier between doubt and hope and joy and grief and life and death.

  • from a lecture on preaching at Princeton Theological Seminary's Henderson Conference in 1986