Sermons: Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living

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9780380731657: Sermons: Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living

Following his ground breaking New York Times bestseller, The Good Book: Reading the Bible With Mind and Heart, Peter J. Gomes offers us the first major collection of his sermons, in which he draws on wisdom of the Bible to guide us through the year and enrich our daily lives.

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Review:

Reading a book of sermons should not have the same impact as hearing them preached from the pulpit. After all, listening to the mellifluous tones of a preacher speaking heartfelt words is an irreplaceable experience. But reading sermons provides a different experience, one that can be just as powerful. As Peter J. Gomes, author of The Good Book points out in his inspiring collection simply entitled Sermons, by looking at the discourses, the reader is able to form a special connection with the words and the preacher who offers them by taking control of the text. The reader may stop to refer to the Bible or pause at length to ponder how the words relate to him or her. However, this caveat Gomes offers on the differences between written and spoken sermons is ultimately unnecessary. These texts, transcribed straight from Gomes's preachings, have an oral quality to them that allows the reader to "hear" the words as Gomes "speaks" them, giving his ideas that much more force.

In his introduction, Henry Louis Gates Jr. describes Gomes as "a cross between Cotton Mather and Martin Luther King Jr. [Gomes], clearly, was a man of words, but a man of words with a difference." The Harvard preacher gives us no less--words that make a difference--in his compilation of 40 sermons, each built upon the Christian calendar, taking us from Advent to Christmas. (The number is no accident, 40 being an important biblical number: the great flood lasted for 40 days, the children of Israel wandered for 40 years; Jesus fasted for 40 days. ) The range of sermons--from "The Art of Impatient Living" to "Growing Up" to "Acts of Reconciliation"--offer biblical wisdom in a modern context, using current references such as Donald Trump, artist George Segal, and Julia Child. Political and social history, humor, and wit infuse the sermons making them relevant and interesting to today's audience. Gomes offers his readers a pathway to the Bible, opening to them the happiness and inspiration it can bring to their daily lives. --Jenny Brown

From the Publisher:

The Reverend Professor Peter J. Gomes is widely acclaimed as one of America's greatest preachers and most influential thinkers. For a quarter century at Harvard, Gomes's legendary sermons have mesmerized congregations. Humor and wit -- he quotes from T. S. Eliot and Woody Allen as well as from the Bible -- inform the serious moral content of his sermons, and have made him a sought-after speaker at Harvard and international events, including two presidential inaugurations.

Now, following his groundbreaking work, New York Times bestseller The Good Book, comes Sermons, a collection of forty timely addresses to guide us through the year. Starting with Advent and built around the Christian calendar, these are timeless distillations of Gomes's favorite sermons. With his characteristic eloquence and in an engaging and stimulating manner, he offers readers the tools they need to understand the Bible and the joy and inspiration it can bring to everyday life.

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Henry L. Gates; Peter J. Gomes
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