Sunday, 6 September 2015

Church attendance manual (4): The eight types of sermons

It's been a while since I've added an entry to the Church Attendance Manual. For those planning to attend church on Sunday, here is an ecumenical typology of sermons:

Evangelical: God thinks you’re despicable. But Jesus loves you!

Liberal Protestant: God thinks you’re wonderful. Here’s a crayon drawing I did earlier to show you.

Progressive: I have not the faintest idea of what God, if there is a God, thinks about you. And if any of you disagrees with me, God thinks you’re an arrogant fundamentalist, and I agree.

Roman Catholic: I know many different things that God thinks on various matters. Here are nine of them, in no particular order.

Orthodox: We Orthodox are absolutely certain about what God thinks. But here’s a story instead of something that happened to me the other day.

Pentecostal: God doesn’t think, God feels. And how does God feel about you? Great!

Presbyterian: I – that is to say, myself, the ego, the first-person speaker whom Paul so poignantly yet so ambiguously names in Romans 7 – know – meaning that I perceive it, not only by way of intellectual comprehension but as something that I grasp and apprehend with my whole being, in the way that "Adam knew his wife Eve" (cf. Gen. 4:1) – what God thinks – that is to say, not just the content of the divine mind but the entire mode by which God apprehends created things, what one commentator has aptly called God's "sapiential omniscience". 

Itinerant evangelist: God is thinking about that ten dollar bill that you've got hidden in the bottom of your pocket.


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