Poets, Prophets and Preachers

Tomorrow I'm leaving for Grand Rapids and the Poets, Prophets and Preachers Seminar. Rob Bell, Shane Hipps and Peter Rollins will be leading the sessions. I am particularly intersted in what these three men have to say with regard to the "art" of preaching to 21st Century audiences.

Rob tends to be more of an expostional/narrative preacher with an appreciation for Hebrew midrash and parable. I am re-reading Velvet Elvis having just finished Jesus Wants to Save Christians. I am getting much more out of the former this time around. Both excellent reads.

Shane is a Mennonite pastor, and former Porsche salesman, who will be talking about ways that technology shapes our preaching. His book Flickering Pixels was a very intersting read.

And then Peter Rollins, a twenty-something Irish philospher/theologian will talk to us about communicating through storytelling and utilizing "transformance art" to convey the messsage. His books How (not) to Speak of God and The Orthodox Heretic have been especially insightful to me recently.

Here is the line-up beginning tomorrow night:

Sunday July 5
7 pm
Rob Bell – The Original Guerilla Theatre
throwing ourselves into this ancient, sacred art form with the absurd, naive, antiquated belief that the world needs inspiring, provocative, comforting, dangerous, healing, great sermons now more than ever
Monday July 6
9 am
Rob Bell – The Story We're Telling
sin, salvation, business, art, justice and the importance of beginning in the beginning
11 am
Peter Rollins – Returning to the New: An Introduction to Transformance Art
what do flash mobs, performance artists, and pirates have to do with Christianity? exploring how the church can act as an aroma of the coming kingdom
2 pm
Shane Hipps – How Technology Shapes the Sermon
the art of preaching evolves with every new technological innovation in a culture. do you know what is being done and undone by our technologies?
7 pm
Rob Bell – The Fig Tree and the Failure of Language
moment, movement, mystery, and the science of homiletical architecture (alternate title: why some sermons work and others don't)
Tuesday July 7
9 am
Rob Bell – Fumbling Around with Your Radar
tools, questions, approaches, and everyday 5 minute disciplines that have helped me understand where sermons come from
11 am
Peter Rollins – For Those With Ears to Hear: Parables and the Lost Art of Provocation
an exploration of that theological dis-course that holds the power to send us hurtling off course and onto a new one
2 pm
Shane Hipps – You Are the Medium
an exploration of the human being as God's ultimate medium for his message. if the medium is the message, and you as a person are the medium, then what does that say about the message?
4 – 5 pm
Rob Bell – The One Thing I've Never Heard Someone Talk About That Has Changed Everything for Me

Check back daily for reports and updates.


  1. Sean~Thanks for your blog..
    I am here at the event in Grand Rapids and got to your blog via google.
    Look fwd to seeing the talks happen..


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