Skill Builders

Home > Skill Builders

My Finger on the Hot Button

Lessons from the abolitionist era on addressing controversial social issues

See theme

Last year I took my wife to St. Louis on a holiday weekend, and mixing business with pleasure, we spent two half days in the Missouri Historical Research Library. My purpose was to research sermons from the mid-19 century, specifically those addressing the topics of slavery and gambling.

I wanted to see how preachers dealt with the hot button issues of the day, particularly in a border area like St. Louis. In the 1800s, Missouri was a slave state, while Illinois was free. I intended to compare and contrast those sermons with how contemporary preachers approach social issues like abortion and gay marriage.

I came to the library planning to research from a list of six preachers from that place and time. The only name known to me was Edward Beecher, brother of Henry Ward Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

I searched books, personal letters, local newspapers, and other documents, many of them original manuscripts. The hunt failed to produce any sermons by those on my list of preachers, so I widened ...

skill builder Preview

This skill builder is available to PreachingToday.com subscribers only.

To continue reading:

Rating & Reviews

Average User Rating: Not rated

No comments

Please to rate and review this skill builder. Or subscribe now for full access.

Related articles

The Next Big Thing

How series are changing to keep up with the times.

History of Preaching

Assessing today's preaching in light of history

Speaking into Crisis

What we can learn from two pastors-Bonhoeffer and Thielicke-who ministered in terrible times

More articles

Print this pageShopping CartHelpMy Account