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Homiletics and Pastoral Theology: With an Appendix

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Although Shedd is often remembered as a theologian and historian, he also devoted his writing to the theory and practice of preaching. He forcefully argues that rhetorical elegance—the kind required for good preaching—is not merely a matter of aesthetics, but of ethics. He describes the relationship between eloquence and exegesis, the process of choosing a text and crafting a sermon, and the nature of extemporaneous preaching. The second half of this volume defines and explains the relationship between preaching and pastoral theology. Shedd explores not only the intellectual responsibilities of clergy, but also the pastoral function of leadership.

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“The first requisite, in order to extemporaneous preaching, is a heart glowing and beating with evangelical affections.” (Page 227)

“Form a high ideal of a sermon, and constantly aim at its realization” (Page 110)

“Exegesis,’ says Niebuhr, ‘is the fruit of finished study.’” (Page 16)

“The naturalist does not attempt to mould the mountains to his patterns; and the theologian must not strive to pre-configure the Scriptures to his private opinions. The mountain is an object, positive, fixed, and entirely independent of the eye that looks upon it; and that mass of truth which is contained in the Christian Scriptures is also an object, positive, fixed, and entirely independent of the individual mind that contemplates it.” (Pages 4–5)

“We know and are verily persuaded that what we preach is the eternal truth of God. It is our wish, and a very natural one, that our ministry might prove beneficial and salutary to the world; but the measure of success is for God to give, not for us to demand.” (Pages 29–30)

  • Title: Homiletics and Pastoral Theology: With an Appendix
  • Author: William G.T. Shedd
  • Publisher: Charles Scribner & Co.
  • Publication Date: 1891
  • Pages: 445
William Greenough Thayer Shedd

William Shedd (1820–1894) is considered one of the greatest theologians of the American Presbyterian church. He studied at the University of Vermont under James Marsh, where he encountered the writings of Samuel Taylor. Shedd graduated from Andover Theological Seminary in 1843 and, soon after, became a minister for a congregational church in Vermont for two years.

Shedd taught at many universities, including University of Vermont, Auburn Theological Seminary, Andover Theological Seminary, and Union Theological Seminary. While at Union, Shedd defended the Reformed theology of Old School Presbyterian against the increasing influence of modernism and higher criticism.

One of Shedd’s better-known titles is Dogmatic Theology. Other titles include A History of Christian Doctrine and The Doctrine of Endless Punishment, which can be found in the William G. T. Shedd Collection.


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  1. Shane Lems

    Shane Lems


    Might be a bit dated, but it is full of biblical, thoughtful insight, instruction, and application!


Digital list price: $12.49
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