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Preaching and Professing
Sermons by a Teacher Seeking to Proclaim the Gospel
POD; Published: 1/30/2009
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6446-8
Price: $ 33.99
310 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 X 9
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Testifies to the presence of God as both our post-earthly hope and our present-world existence.

These thought-provoking sermons by Ralph Wood, a layman who has taught religion and literature for many years, seek to till new soil in the fertile field of Christian faith and life. They draw on a wide range of reading not only in Christian theology but also in both classical and contemporary literature and culture. And they also mine Wood's own professorial and personal experience in dealing with both the old and the young amid "the chances and changes of life."

Wood squarely engages the American "culture of death" by wrestling with such vexing questions as sexuality and marriage, war and peace, abortion, racial injustice, and abuse of the elderly. By grounding his homilies in specific times, places, and quandaries, Wood demonstrates that Christianity remains a vigorous set of doctrines and morals precisely as preaching and ethics give shape to our worship and living in the here and now. Focusing not so much on our "getting to heaven," Wood's Preaching and Professing shows concretely how the gospel "gets heaven into us."
Vigen Guroian, University of Virginia
"What makes these sermons so intellectually rich and religiously moving is that Ralph Wood is both an accomplished scholar and an inspired interpreter of Scripture. His Preaching and Professing is a veritable feast of wisdom for our spiritually starved times."
Kyle Childress, Austin Heights Baptist Church, Nacogdoches, Texas
"Flannery O'Connor, speaking of Karl Barth, once said, 'I like old Karl because he throws the furniture around.' In these sermons Ralph Wood throws the furniture around. But he does so beautifully, with candor, humor, and even tenderness. More than anything these sermons are theologically and biblically grounded in the gospel of Jesus Christ."
Kenneth H. Carter Jr., Providence United Methodist Church, Charlotte, North Carolina
"The voice of a master teacher comes through clearly in these pages. . . Those who have known Ralph Wood primarily as an interpreter of the Christian classics will discover the voice of a preacher as well. Wood has learned from a particular congregation of literary pilgrims over the last century — Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, P. D. James, C. S. Lewis — that there is always something 'at stake,' and his collection of sermons displays this same profession of faith: the Lord of life is always with us and for us, even in the midst of death."
R. Leigh Spruill, St. George's Episcopal Church, Nashville, Tennessee
"As with any good preacher, Wood unfailingly directs his hearers to the Good News of Jesus Christ throughout this diverse collection of sermons. . . Behind his critique of the human condition are Wood's wry humor, deep immersion in Holy Scripture, and poignant reflections on the incredible love of a God who would die to save the likes of us."
Thomas W. Currie, Union PSCE at Charlotte
"In this book Ralph Wood, a layman and teacher of literature, preaches and, by professing the faith in such a lively and life-giving way, reminds us what preaching can be and why this task is so crucial for the church's life and mission in the world. . . Those who preach or who care about preaching will feast on the words and the Word found in this volume."