Progressional Dialogue & Preaching: Are They the Same?

Rick L. Holland | May 21, 2010

Under the influence of postmodernism and postconservativism, the Emerging Church is engaged in dismantling much of present-day worship practices in the local church. A leader in advocating radical changes in conventional preaching is Doug Pagitt in his book Preaching Re-Imagined. Pagitt’s name for traditional preaching is “speaching,” which he sees as totally inadequate to meet needs in the Christian community, because it is a one-way communication that does not allow for the listeners’ input. His preferred alternative is “progressional dialogue” which involves “intentional interplay of multiple viewpoints.” As he sees the goal, the Bible is not the sole repository of truth. The Christian community has an equal contribution to make. Influences that have shaped Pagitt’s thinking include the Christian/cosmic metanarrative, postfoundationalism, and outcome-based church ministry. The inevitable conclusion must be that progressional dialogue is not really preaching as preaching has been defined biblically and historically.

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