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The End of Words
The Language of Reconciliation in a Culture of Violence
POD; Published: 1/3/2008
ISBN: 978-0-8028-6280-8
Price: $ 24.99
192 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5 x 7
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After the horrors and violence of the twentieth century, words can seem futile. In this reflection on the place of preaching today, Richard Lischer recognizes that our mass-communication culture is exhausted by words. Facing up to language's disappointments and dead ends, he opens a path to its true end.

With chapters on vocation, interpretation, narration, and reconciliation, The End of Words shows how faithful reading of Scripture rather than flashy performance paves the way for effective preaching; Lischer challenges conventional storytelling with a deeper and more biblical view of narrative preaching. The ultimate purpose of preaching, he argues, is to speak God's peace, the message of reconciliation.

While Lischer's End of Words will surely be invaluable to pastors and preachers, his honest, readable style will appeal to anyone concerned with speaking Christianly.

Gardner C. Taylor
"With deft strokes, piercing analysis, and characteristic emphasis on the power of proclaiming the gospel of reconciliation, Richard Lischer here gives the community of faith a solving, saving word derived from the Word — which became flesh."
Reviews in Religion & Theology
"Richard Lischer gets to the core of what preaching the Gospel is all about in a time when the spoken word is facing difficult challenges from many directions. . . The End of Words is so powerful that it should be required reading in every seminary course of homiletics."
William H. Willimon
"Richard Lischer is a master of words who has been mastered by the Word. With eloquent verbal precision and self-evident love for the homiletical vocation, with cruciform Lutheran theology and gentle Midwestern wit, he recalls us to the chief ends of preaching."
Heidi B. Neumark
"Richard Lischer's book could not be more timely. To paraphrase his own insight, this book doesn't entertain; it does something far better. It sustains and forms, lifting a powerful language of hope above the vitriol that marks far too much religious conversation."
"In the grand Beecher tradition of preachers like Frederich Buechner and Barbara Brown Taylor, Richard Lischer offers this book to inspire and engage those desiring to be God's mutually faithful preachers and hearers today."
Theological Book Review
"[Richard Lischer] issues a challenge to return to the basics of preaching, to abandon PowerPoint and movie clips in favor of the telling and re-telling of the counter-cultural yet deeply relevant story of the cross."
"Lischer does not merely talk about preaching. He preaches, preaches faithfully, and, in doing so, points reliably and eloquently to the proper 'end of words.' '"
"Writing with passion and a Lutheran conviction, [Richard Lischer] calls those who would enter the pulpit back to the preaching of the gospel of Christ crucified, and away from the slick 'PowerPoint' presentation which characterizes so much preaching today."
Christian Century
"'The ministry of the word,' Lischer says near the end of his book, 'is an endless card game played out among people who never stop talking with and caring for one another.' This is the truest definition of preaching imaginable, offered by someone whose love of the game has given scores of others reason to keep coming back to the table."
Journal of the Evangelical Homiletics Society
"A valuable read for preachers and teachers of preaching. It is an important dialogue partner."
Trinity Seminary Review
"Anyone who could get excited about theological revival led by the preaching of the cross should read this book."
Lutheran Partners
"A rich source of encouragement and wisdom from one of our church's finest preachers and teachers."