I want to begin an occasional series laying out what I see to be the top 100 preachers and/or sermons in the history of the church. I put “and/or” because some of the sermons are anonymous, (see below) but worthy of note; and other times a preacher may be worthy of note and have several sermons that may qualify as great. I don’t intend for this to take over my blog, but for it to be a regular feature, reminding us that preaching has a rich past and is a constantly changing and varied activity. Preaching has, however, remained a central constant throughout the history of the church and has been the spark of most of the church’s revivals. Many of the preachers in my list will come from Edwin Charles Dargan’s History of Preaching, but in more recent centuries I will deviate from it because Dargan ends with the 18th century and has no preachers from America in the 19th century.
One of my goals in this process is to come up with a definition or a list of what makes a sermon truly “great”. I already have a list of 2-3 items, but hope to expand it and then try it out before you as we go along.
Loretta and I went and watched “Julie & Julia” last night and in the spirit of that movie (one I highly recommend), I hope to list & review these 100 preachers/sermons within a year.
You can help in a couple of ways: I would very much solicit your suggestion. My list is not even half-way complete. I have some ideas on direction, but my list is a growing list at this point. So I would ask for your input.
Second, as I stated above, I am working on a definition or a list of criteria for what makes a sermon truly “great”. If you have suggestions toward that end as well, I would welcome them. So let’s get started…