Sermons by Rev. Dr. Rod Kennedy

1120 of 31 items

March 12, 2017: “Born Again?”

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American revivalism has often been informed by the idea of being “born again.” A frequent question that you would face back in the 1970’s was “Are you born again?” The question is unsettling. Jesus, in the Greek text, actually says “born from above.” The idea is a metaphor that is only one way of talking […]

March 5, 2017: “One Strategy for Resistance”

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Matt 4:1-11 Lent in counter-cultural.  The Old Testament lesson for Ash Wednesday sounds strange in American churches:  “Return to me with all your heart,” says the Lord, “with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”  Where would our happy, happy, happy religion put that verse in the Order of Worship?  You can’t get more counter-cultural than […]

Feb. 26, 2017: “The Grand Encourager”

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The story of the transfiguration baffles and humbles my mind. I tell you this because I want you to just pay attention and notice what happens! Jesus was transfigured and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.  I don’t know if it’s fact, metaphor, or myth.  There appeared to him […]

Feb. 19, 2017: “Higher Literalism”

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Rhetorical Strategy: The title of this sermon, “Higher Literalism,”  is more than a title.  It is a speech act.  It is a description of the   rhetorical strategy.  In other words, this is how a liberal preacher takes the Gospel seriously.  Let’s out-literal the literalists.  After all, literalists prefer obscure texts, fringe texts, texts ripped from […]

Feb. 12, 2017: “You Are Something!”

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I Cor. 2:1-12; Matt. 5:13-20 In the movie, Analyze This, there’s a line repeated again and again by the two main characters: “You are something!”  “You are something!” I want to fill in the blanks of what that something is because you are something. Don’t take this the wrong way because this is not a group […]

Feb. 5, 2017: “Clashing Beatitudes”

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Micah 6:1-8; Matthew 5:1-12 “What is a human being for?” asks Wendell Berry. There are a variety of answers.  During Super Bowl Media Day, a boy had fought through the media throng, was face to face with Pete Carroll, and asked if the coach had any advice.  “Wherever you want to go, you just keep […]

Jan. 29, 2017: “The Hackers of the Gospel”

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Matthew 4:12-23 The Gospel of Jesus has been hacked. Our memory of how Christians in the past have lived, our memory of what it actually means to be Christian, is being systematically deleted. The hackers have implanted a “virus” in the mainframe of Christianity. Only a few have noticed – theologians mostly. But almost no […]

Jan. 15, 2017: “Come On In! The Water’s Fine!”

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Matthew 3:13-17 Baptists should make more of baptism than anyone else. After all, take a look at our name. And yet we rarely talk about baptism and so few are baptized. The baptistry is mostly a dry hole in most Baptist churches. Let’s have a real conversation about baptism, as we look at the day Jesus […]

Jan. 8, 2017: “God’s Cosmic Plan”

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Ephesians 3:1-12 Did you know that a group of blind men examined an elephant and each reached a different conclusion about what they were touching? Everybody knows that, but did you know that Christians sometimes identify the gospel as the part they like or embrace? And this partially explains why there are so many varieties of […]