In “Envisioning the Reign of God: Preaching for Tomorrow,” professor and scholar Debra J. Mumford, M.Div., Ph.D., shows that what we believe about the kingdom of God deeply affects how we relate to the world we inhabit here and now. She makes the Christian study of “last things” (eschatology) practical for today’s pastors, preachers and church leaders; Homiletics and Theology professors; and seminarians.
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“Eschatology is not just about how humanity will be judged on the last day but how we live our lives every day,” she argues. “Eschatology is not simply about our ultimate destruction but rather how we construct and conduct our human existence daily. Eschatology is an existential endeavor that every pastor and preacher who wrestles with the will of God for all of creation must take up with earnest intentionality.”
Through a standardized format for easy following, each of the 12 chapters considers the eschatological beliefs of a different preacher as well as the manner in which those beliefs shape the style and content of that leader’s ministry. Prominent theologians include Emile Townes, Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, Walter Raushenbusch, Martin Luther King Jr., James Cone, Jurgen Moltmann, Elisabeth Schussler Fiorena, Patrick Cheng and Nancy Eiesland.
The book provides preachers and pastors with an understanding of the rationale for development of different eschatological points of view, enabling them to develop their own. It conveys an impassioned way of preaching about the reign of God on earth and how it can infuse congregations with enthusiasm and a new sense of purpose in making it a reality.
A professor of Homiletics and director of the Money Matters for Ministry program at Louisville (Ky.) Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Mumford was ordained by American Baptist Churches USA and is an affiliate minister with the Alliance of Baptists. This title will be used as a text in the “Preaching for Tomorrow” seminar that Mumford teaches. Her scholarly interests include African American prophetic preaching, prosperity preaching, and preaching and health.
Author of numerous journal articles, she has published the book Exploring Prosperity Preaching: Biblical Health, Wealth, & Wisdom (Judson Press, 2012). An active speaker and presenter at preaching conferences and denominational annual meetings, including the Alliance of Baptists, Mumford serves in an executive position on the Academy of Homiletics and is an active member of the American Academy of Religion. She is editor of the Biblical Studies Book Review for the Journal of the Academy of Homiletics.
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