Groans of the Spirit constitutes a rousing challenge to mainline churches and their practice of preaching. In this inventive work, Timothy Slemmons calls preachers beyond the formalism of the New Homiletic, and beyond the ethical proposals that have arisen in the frustrated struggle to transcend it, and toward what the author calls a penitential (reformed) homiletic. This new homiletical proposal is distinctive in that it faithfully adheres to the Christological content of preaching, finds its inspiration in the promise of the real presence of Christ, and trusts in the ministry of the Holy Spirit, from whom alone the power for the renewal of the mainline church shall come.
This book includes a thorough reconsideration of the infinite qualitative difference between God and humanity in Barth's thought, an important critique of Gadamer's reception of Kierkegaard's concept of contemporaneity, an undelivered lecture on the content of preaching, and two sermons that illustrate Slemmons's important proposals.
Groans of the Spirit is a long-considered, calculated, and overdue break with conventional hermeneutics that proposes a vital homiletical pneumatology, which draws the art of the sermon out of the ghetto of mere rhetoric and presents it as it truly is: as theological reflection of the first order, the church's primary language of faith.