Lectionary Preaching Workbook
Series IX, Cycle A
Mark Ellingsen

Price: $49.95

ISBN: 0788027603
Size: 8.5x11
Pages: 486
Mark Ellingsen's new Lectionary Preaching Workbook will be a wonderful resource for pastors for decades to come. I say this because I find the book to be exegetically sound, theologically strong, homiletically creative, liturgically sensitive, and imminently practical in the best sense of that word. Practical Theology of the highest order -- that's what describes Ellingsen's workbook. There are several things that I like about this book: 1) the way it's organized; 2) the Sermon Planner/Builder page, which is extremely important for busy pastors as they plan a season or a year of preaching; 3) the quick and lucid summary of various Approaches to Preaching early in the book; 4) the biblical and theological depth expressed throughout and yet presented succinctly; 5) the social-ethical observations about texts and how they relate to contemporary contexts; 6) the helpful background on the church seasons; 7) the accessible illustrative material; 8) the interesting and useful structural suggestions; and finally 9) the clear and cogent writing style that sings with a single poetic voice. A modest hope is that preachers who have found themselves timid about approaching the lectionary will see in Mark Ellingsen's workbook a way to test the waters, and eventually dive in. Ellingsen provides here the opportunity for that homiletical leap of faith!
William J. Carl III, Ph.D.
President and Professor of Homiletics
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Dr. Ellingsen presents the preacher with a resource that deeply enriches weekly sermon preparation. Not only does he offer exegetical and theological information for the lections, but sermon topics, themes, and other resources as well. Preachers benefit from a research assistant -- and they have that in Mark Ellingsen. I also appreciate the resources that he offers at the beginning of the workbook: the review of the books of the Bible, a theological overview, as well as reviews of the various seasons of the church. Unlike so many lectionary resources that are grounded in the scriptures, Dr. Ellingsen incorporates a strong focus on the theological emphasis of the texts and context. I will be teaching a preaching course in the fall that will focus on preaching lectionary year A. I will definitely encourage the students to purchase this workbook.
Lucy Lind Hogan, Ph.D.
Hugh Latimer Elderdice Professor of Preaching and Worship
Wesley Theological Seminary
Washington DC

Mark Ellingsen's Lectionary Preaching Workbook (Series IX Cycle A) is a rich and stimulating resource for preachers, especially those who manage the adamant deadline (really, lifeline) imposed on preachers by weekly worship. The working heart of Ellingsen's volume is a section dedicated to every lectionary occasion in the lectionary Year A beginning December 1, 2013 -- each section is filled with theological reflection, liturgical sensibility, exegetical sketches, along with sermon prompts, outlines, and "gimmicks." This last is his own word for what amount to suggestions for why a sermon on a particular text can be made to matter to both preacher and audience.

In addition, the introductory material includes brief notes on the historical background and literary structure of the biblical books cited in the year's readings, a reflection on the theological and devotional emphases of the seasons, and a quirky summary of theological positions -- a product of Ellingsen's desire to be a conversation partner with preachers from various theological camps.

Ellingsen's stated intent is to be an unbiased conversation partner with the preacher and in this goal he is careful to provide a range of options for topic and approach for each occasion. He also invites commentators to the table, frequently quoting our Protestant forebears, Luther, Calvin, and Wesley along with a few contemporary African American and feminist scholars. Preachers will be best served by this volume if they bring their own contemporary companions into the conversation in a robust way for as with any work of this scope, the emphasis must be on shorthand prompts to the deeper discussion that each preacher's context will necessitate.

The closer a preacher is to wanting to continue in the Protestant tradition if theologically informed, exegetically nuanced, liturgically sensitive, and rhetorically focused preacher, the more that preacher will find
Lectionary Preaching Workbook a sturdy companion.
Henry J. (Hank) Langknecht
Haman-Pfahler Professor of Homiletics and Christian Communications
Trinity Lutheran Seminary
Columbus, Ohio

When it comes to preaching from a lectionary, it can often be a daunting task to create new ways of preaching about a passage that has been around for thousands of years. It would seem that, after a while, there would be no new ways of looking at a scripture passage. A different perspective, however, can be most beneficial in finding a new way to help your congregation see each of the readings. 

This is the inspiration behind the Lectionary Preaching Workbook series. By providing new insights into each of the readings in the Revised Common, Roman Catholic, and Episcopal Lectionaries, Mark Ellingsen has given pastors everywhere the tools they need to effectively relate the heart of the scriptures to their congregations, combining the best of scholarly techniques with pastoral experience. Each of these illustrations and thematic explorations provide the perfect jumping point for pastors to take a text and create thought-provoking, inspirational messages. Its easy-to-use format and illuminating commentary make the Lectionary Preaching Workbook an essential addition to any pastor's library.

Mark Ellingsen, a minister in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), has been a professor of Church History at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, since 1993. He graduated magna cum laude from Gettysburg College (Pennsylvania) and Yale University, from which he received three master's degrees in divinity, arts, and philosophy, as well as his Ph.D. He has authored eighteen books including Sin Bravely: A Joyful Alternative to a Purpose-Driven Life (Continuum) and The Integrity of Biblical Narrative (Wipf and Stock). He and his wife have three grown children. When he is not writing or teaching, Ellingsen enjoys discussing politics, sports, and playing guitar.