Confessing Jesus Christ: Preaching in a Postmodern World by David J. Lose Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, 2003. 264 pp. $27.00. ISBN 0-8028-4983-0.
THROUGH THIS PUBLICATION, based upon the author's doctoral dissertation, Lose establishes himself as one of the most compelling new voices in homiletics today. The question he takes up is fundamental: what should become of preaching in a postmodern age when language has lost its referent, previously cherished certainties have been cut loose from their moorings, and "the center cannot hold"? Borrowing deftly from Paul Ricoeur, John Searle, and Mikhail Bakhtin, among others, Lose brilliantly argues for preaching as confession, a speech practice in which preachers declare what they believe (but do not try to prove) to be true, speaking in conversational, quasi-dialogical form and expectantly seeking a response from those who hear. The kind of confession that Lose envisions is at once passionately personal and yet performed with and for the community of faith. It occurs in the context of corporate worship and is made in response to an engagement both with the Bible and the circumstances of the hearers.
Any lingering notion that homiletics is merely about tips and techniques will be quickly dispelled by this book, which is an extraordinarily sophisticated work of practical theology. …