Home  >  The Beauty of Preaching
Share |
The Beauty of Preaching
God's Glory in Christian Proclamation

PAPERBACK; Published: 8/27/2020
ISBN: 978-0-8028-2474-5
Price: $ 29.99
288 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.5
Add To Cart

What does beauty have to do with healing the fragmentation within our churches? According to Michael Pasquarello, everything. Amid the cacophony of ugly political invective that dominates nearly every space today—including church—only God has the power to unify and heal through his truth and goodness, revealed in his beauty. And every Sunday, those in the pulpit have the opportunity and responsibility to share this beauty with their parishioners. 

Tapping into a long tradition that can be traced back to Augustine, Michael Pasquarello explores a theological definition of beauty that has tremendous revelatory power in a post-Christendom world. A church manifesting this beauty is not merely a gathering of people, but a place where God’s new creation appears in the midst of the old creation, ushered in by a pastor willing to make God the primary actor within the doxological craft of preaching.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Will Willimon
Introduction: Reclaiming Beauty
1. Saving Beauty
2. Seeing Beauty
3. A Converting Beauty
4. A Spoken Beauty
5. A Simple Beauty
6. A Strange Beauty
Conclusion: Beauty, Now and Then

Will Willimon
— from the foreword
“Eschewing modernity’s limp aestheticism, in this encouraging book Mike does his usual sweeping survey of theological literature to produce a loving, bold proclamation that Christian preaching’s beauty is not a set of rhetorical devices whereby we sugarcoat and pretty up a sermon to make it more palatable. No, Mike joins Augustine in joyfully preaching that beautiful is who God is, beauty is the truth about the God who delights in delighting us through faithful preaching.”

“Imagine if we asked the average passerby what they thought of Christianity and they responded, ‘I don’t know if what they’re saying is true, but wow, is it ever beautiful’? If more of our preaching resembled what Pasquarello describes here, if it beat with the ‘heart of the church’s doxological vision,’ we could imagine such a response. Would that what we say, and how we say it, would startle and stagger with God’s radiance once more.”
— Jason Byassee
author of Surprised by Jesus Again
“Pasquarello’s emphasis on beauty as a primary dimension of preaching and of God’s self-revelation challenges the flattening of a form of discourse essential to the life of the church. Drawing upon a wide range of Christian thinkers and on the Gospel stories themselves, he reminds readers of how inseparable are God’s word, God’s work, God’s mercy, and God’s great beauty, which we celebrate in worship, led by preachers who, at their best, lift us into praise, gratitude, and delight.”
— Marilyn McEntyre
author of Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies
“Beauty, long shunned from the pulpit, is given a renewed place of primacy in Michael Pasquarello's hopeful vision for preaching. Understood theologically, beauty is related to the mystery of grace and the glory of the Triune God, uniting all things in Christ. Like this fine book, the subject of beauty awakens a desire for the gospel and quickens a love of God.”
— Paul Scott Wilson
Emmanuel College, University of Toronto
"Given contemporary angst about the ineffectiveness of the lowly sermon, The Beauty of Preaching is a timely reminder that a central function of proclamation is the adoration of God. Drawing on voices from the Christian tradition, particularly Augustine, Mike Pasquarello invites deep meditation on the idea of the sermon as doxology, a refreshing alternative to revisit in a context where words can function as weapons instead of plowshares, even from the pulpit."
— Angela Dienhart Hancock
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
“Pasquarello, drawing deeply on the well of Scripture and our rich tradition, reminds us of the constancy of themes of beauty, delight, pleasure, and wonder in God’s word and, in so doing, reminds us preachers of the hankering the church has for beauty in preaching that word.”
— James Howell
author of The Beauty of the Word: The Challenge and Wonder of Preaching
“Michael Pasquarello provides us with a strangely subversive account of preaching, sidestepping the usual preoccupation with method so as to focus on something less tangible yet no less real: theological beauty. Preaching, he contends, both inspires and is inspired by love for God, and love of God is inspired by delight in divine beauty. Reminding us to consider glory, joy, and the aesthetic dimensions of proclamation, he situates the sermon in the context of true worship and in so doing reorients us to a truly theological vision of this most important ministry.”
— Michael P. Knowles
McMaster Divinity College
"Two things set this book apart: (1) wonder, praise, and gratitude for the Triune God who speaks himself to us in the humble Lord Jesus Christ; (2) joyful appreciation for the preachers, theologians, and Scripture scholars whose proclamation and teaching enrich our every word. Like his teacher Augustine, Pasquarello takes as his vocation the task of pointing to the wondrous beauty of our Creator and Redeemer. Let us recommit ourselves to this ever-new beauty that is the subject of all preaching worthy of the name."
— Matthew Levering
Mundelein Seminary
“Pasquarello’s book is a beautiful work in and of itself that preachers will enjoy. His use of language, his poetic styling, and his exploration of beauty from every scriptural, theological, homiletical angle offer new insights, and preachers will delight in his compelling exploration of the divine love that called them into this vocation.”