All Is Forgiven: The Secular Message in American Protestantism

By Marsha G. Witten | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Appendix Two
METHODOLOGY

SAMPLING PROCEDURES AND DATA

In the spring of 1988, I wrote to pastors of 150 Presbyterian (U.S.A.) churches and 150 Southern Baptist churches in the United States, requesting a recent sermon on Luke 15:11–32. The churches were chosen by drawing a random sample of Presbyterian churches with memberships of over 800 persons from the roster of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations (Minutes of the 198th General Assembly, 1986), and for Southern Baptist congregations, by random sampling of churches with memberships of over 1,000 people (drawn for me by the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board). The discrepancy in church size was necessitated by the organization of Southern Baptist records. It does not markedly affect the sample, however, since the majority of churches listed as having a membership of over 800 actually have memberships in excess of 1,000.

In all, twenty-seven Presbyterian and thirty-one Southern Baptist pastors sent a total of seventy-one sermons. Twenty-four of these sermons (thirteen Southern Baptist and eleven Presbyterian) could not be used in this study, for the following reasons: Six were outlines too sketchy to be analyzed; thirteen were manuscripts or tapes from pastors who sent several sermons (in that case, only the first sermon sent by each pastor was used in the analysis); three were tapes of messages that were not on the topic of Luke 15; and two were tapes that contained large sections that were inaudible.

Of the forty-seven usable sermons—twenty-one Southern Baptist and twenty-six Presbyterian—nine arrived in the form of audio tape and were transcribed by an assistant. The rest came in manuscript form or as complete outlines.

In addition to the sermons received, fifty-one Presbyterian and thirty-three Southern Baptist clergy responded to my request for sermons by writing that they had no such sermon on hand.


METHODS OF ANALYSIS

I used two sets of discourse-analytic procedures in studying the text of the sermons. The first, a procedure that relies on analytical induction, was helpful in the first stages of analysis in identifying major patterns of talk (topics and categories within the topics) that I discuss in chapters three through six (in chapter three, for example, the topic is talk about “God”; the categories are God as daddy, God as sufferer, God as extravagant lover of humankind, and God as

-149-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
All Is Forgiven: The Secular Message in American Protestantism
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 179

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?