Monday, July 11, 2005

Puritan Reclamation Project: Sermon Titles

I've written already about the need for the resurfacing of Puritan nomenclature in modern society. Yet it strikes me that we need a parallel return to the sermon titling system of the Puritans. Why? Well, frankly, many sermons are dull when compared to those of the past. Sermon titles in the Puritan ages were themselves works of art; today they are host to functionalism. Here are some titles from one of my favorite preachers, John Piper: "Racial Harmony and Interracial Marriage," "All Things Subject to the Risen Christ," and "Treasuring Christ Together Above All Things." Now, I'm sure these are wonderful sermons, but the titles are lacking compared to those of yesteryear. This ought not to be so! We need an uprising, a reclamation, a restoration, of the old order. Here are suggestions to spark the movement, which I'm sure will flame in only a matter of time.

Instead of "Racial Harmony and Interracial Marriage," try "The Mingling of Providentially Designed Races for the Redounding Glory of God as Treated With Excellent Magnanimity by Paul the Blessed Apostle and Applied to that Harmonious Joining of Man and Woman in that Age-Old Covenant of Consecrated Union, as Preached by the Right Doctor John Piper in the Year two thousand and five.

There--isn't that nice? Just rolls off the tongue, don't it?

One more- instead of, "Treasuring Christ Together Above All Things," try "On That Sacred Duty of The Corporate Body, That Visible Semblance of Radiant and Celestial Beauty, Namely, The Solemn Magnification, Praising, Prizing, and Impressing on the Conscience of the Immeasurable Measure of Excellence, Namely, the Great and Efficacious Character of the God-Man, the One the Ages Treasure and Worship as Christ, as Delivered by God's Servant, Namely, One Right Reverend John Piper."

I can see this one catching on like wildfire. First the names, now the sermons, maybe soon the theology--the Puritans are coming back, and we're gonna party like its 1670.


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