Best-selling author, veteran pastor and professor, and now president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, Rev. Dr. Marvin McMickle returns to his passion for preaching in this new book, which explores the Great Commission as recorded in Acts 1:6-8, "Be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in Judea, and in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Be My Witness offers a unique approach to the preaching task and suggests a way for preachers today to declare the gospel with relevance to the many issues and challenges society faces. McMickle explores the implications of what it means to be a witness for Jesus and considers a three-fold understanding of the word witness:
• Seeing something• Saying something• Suffering something
Suggesting this passage be heard by preachers as a combination ordination charge, pastoral installation message, and seminary commencement address, McMickle develops a twenty-first century theology of preaching that encompasses both content and context for delivering the gospel message. Specifically, he explores the preacher's need to wait for the Spirit's power, to be Christ's witness in the world, and to widen the scope of ministryto the ends of the earth.
• Provides an exegetical examination of Jesus' words in Acts 1:6-8• Promotes sermon content that is faithful and attentive to justice, and the people and problems within a minister's particular local church and community
"This book is exactly what you would hope for from a wise, seasoned preacher: wide reading, sustained imagination, and deep confident faith. Beyond all of that, Marvin McMickle 'gets Jesus'! Readers will be grateful for this compelling testimony and will appreciate the sense of craft with which this preacher works." Walter Brueggemann, Columbia Theological Seminary
"In his usual inimitable style, Marvin McMickle again takes on the role of prophet to the prophets. He presents a timely challenge to twenty-first century preachers to evaluate the substance of their preaching in light of Christ's call to be witnesses of the gospel. He reframes Christ's mission directive recorded in Acts 1:6-8 as a call to preach justly in the present age. This book is a must-read for every present and future preacher, and its message is as timely as the commission from Christ is timeless." Gennifer Brooks, PhD, DMin, Ernest and Bernice Styberg Professor of Preaching, Styberg Preaching Institute Director, and Dean of ACTS DMin. in Preaching Program, Garrett Theological Seminary
"Once again, Dr. Marvin McMickle has done the Christian church and its leadership a tremendous service in this seminal work, Be My Witness: The Great Commission for Preachers. All the way from challenging preachers to consider our theology of preaching to avoid dull uninspiring repetitions week after week, to urging us to lift our prophetic voices in the face of social crises, Be My Witness is sure to shake us out of our comfort zone as preachers and challenge us to take bold risks for the cause of Christ and his kingdom." Dr. James C. Perkins, President, Progressive National Baptist Convention, Inc.
"I read Be My Witness and was reminded of the central task of preaching, fulfilling the Great Commission. Marvin McMickle has demonstrated once again that he is one of the most important interpreters and chroniclers of preaching in the twenty-first century. I immediately buy his every book and recommend that anyone who loves preaching do the same." Frank A. Thomas, Professor of Homiletics, Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana
"Rooted in a biblical and theological vision of preaching, Rev. Dr. Marvin A. McMickle's new book reminds readers of the expansive call of Christian preaching. He teaches that preaching's theological end is to reach the ends of the earth, not just those warming the pews. His embrace of preaching as a global vocation leads to the affirmation that the world is indeed our parish while he also affirms that without the Holy Spirit, preaching will perish. This book reveals what it means to be a witness for the Lord; thus preaching is more than words but includes deeds, even bending one's knees on holy ground. Reading this will make you utter what should be the beginning of all sermon preparation, "Come, Holy Spirit." Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery, Dean of Duke Chapel, Associate Professor of Homiletics, Duke University
"In this fine, biblically and theologically grounded book, Marvin McMickle recalibrates the compasses of all gospel preachers, sending us along the true path of courageous and prophetic witness. Guided by Jesus' challenge to 'be my witnesses,' McMickle shows how faithful preaching leads the preacher and the church into places of wonder and danger and into the vortex of the most urgent issues of our time. Every student of preaching and every pastor should read this provocative volume." Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching, Emeritus, Candler School of Theology, Emory University
Marvin A. McMickle, DMin, PhD is currently interim pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, where he previously served as senior pastor for nearly twenty-five years. He has also served as past president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York. No stranger to academia, McMickle previously served as professor of homiletics at Ashland Theological Seminary and in 2009, spent a semester as a visiting professor at Yale University Divinity School. He also taught at Case Western Reserve, Cleveland State, Princeton, and Fordham universities. A prolific author, McMickle, has more than a dozen books to his credit, including resources on preaching, ministry, and African American history.
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