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HomeleticalSensings are my perspectives on preaching mediated through my lived experiences. May these ramblings serve you, enrich the church, and glorify God.


Ministers function as resident practical theologians who act so that the community will continue its journey of becoming like Christ for the sake of the world. Dissecting that last sentence leads me to an aspirational sevenfold paradigm for understanding the theological nature of ministry. Practical theology calls the minister to be a resident practical theologian (a pastor) who practices (1) practical theology as a communal activity—faith participating in the trinitarian nature of God in relation to others, (2) practical theology as a transformative activity—faith shaping identity into the image of God (theosis), (3) practical theology as a critical activity—faith seeking understanding in practice, (4) practical theology as a contextual activity—faith becoming the incarnation of God in time and space (kenosis), (5) practical theology as a sacramental activity—faith mediating the presence of God, (6) practical theology as an eschatological activity—faith participating in the missio Dei, and (7) practical theology as a public activity—faith expressing itself in the marketplace for the common good.       

—Tim Sensing

Phillips Brooks

Phillips Brooks


The banner for HomileticalSensings is a picture of a statue of Phillips Brooks,  a noted clergyman and author (December 13, 1835 – January 23, 1893), who briefly served as Bishop of Massachusetts in the Episcopal Church during the early 1890s. Persuasion through the character of the speaker corresponds with one of the most recognizable definitions of preaching in the modern era. In 1877 at the Lyman Beecher Lectures, he stated preaching is “the communication of truth through man to men,” or as it is often quoted, “preaching is truth communicated through personality.”