The Selected Sermons of Dr. Roger Bourland is a accumulation of the works of one of America’s best and best-known preachers. In 1976, Dr. Bourland was the almsman of the United Methodist Abbey Outstanding Preacher Award and he was aswell a apostle on The Protestant Hour, a accepted radio appearance that fabricated its way into endless American homes anniversary week. Now his son, Joe Bourland, has aggregate some of his father’s best and a lot of accepted sermons into one aggregate for readers’ amusement and airy nourishment.
The sermons are disconnected into six sections. The aboriginal covers sermons Dr. Bourland gave if he was “preacher to the pack.” For several years, Dr. Bourland was a pastor in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and consequently, he had several of the Green Bay Packers’ players and coaches in his congregation, including Bart Starr. I am not a football fan, but it did my affection acceptable to apprehend about his accord with these men who are captivated up as role models to our youth. He generally spent time with them, even formed out with them, and best of all, he talks about how no kid in his aggregation will anytime accept abbey is for “sissies” if he has the anamnesis of a 250-pound pro football amateur sitting beside him in church.
The additional and third sections of the book are sermons calm while Dr. Bourland preached aboriginal in Green Bay and again in Omaha, Nebraska. The fourth area encompasses abounding of his sermons from his years on The Protestant Hour. The fifth area is actual appropriate because it’s for appropriate occasions-entitled “The Seasons,” it includes sermons for civic and august holidays-including for confirmations, for Thanksgiving, and for Appearance as able-bodied as the actual appropriate address Dr. Bourland preached at his son Joe’s wedding.
The final area is a alternation of sermons Dr. Bourland preached during appearance cartoon aloft Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. By application anniversary of the three ghosts Ebenezer Scrooge meets as a focus for anniversary week, Dr. Bourland shows us how Christmas is not just about ability but about getting acute to the humans about us, acumen Christmas is not consistently simple for others, and getting acceptable Christians in our benevolence for one another.
Dr. Bourland’s sermons are not abundant on academic and there is no sin and damnation focus here. He does allocution about sin and even sexuality, but if he does, it’s in a ardent and applied way. In fact, we could appellation this accomplished accumulating as getting about applied Christianity. Dr. Bourland does not accept in Fundamentalism, and he makes it bright that the Bible was accounting for humans active in biblical times and not anon for us today-by extension, he says there is no point in aggravating to adumbrate if the apple will end based on Scripture. Instead, he urges us to reside anniversary day like it’s our endure so we are able for whatever may happen.
Although abounding of these sermons were preached as abounding as forty years ago, they abide acutely accordant today. Dr. Bourland preaches about the Cold War and the abhorrence of nuclear war, which charcoal a above affair today. He tells us not to focus on these things but to become acclimated to cat-and-mouse for Jesus’ return. He tells us:
“So we accept to access into moments of artistic waiting. These are times of assumption and achievement and searching. What has gone on afore is no best allotment of us. It hasn’t yet been appear what is to appear next. God nudges us and we apperceive that it is amiss just to angle there on the mountain, searching up with mouths advanced open. We acquisition ourselves in an acting phase. But it is a appearance that credibility above itself.
“There is one affair admirable about that. We appear to see that this blazon of affair has consistently been a allotment of God’s abiding plan for his people. We watch and achievement as God’s Spirit ebbs and flows about us.”
At times, Dr. Bourland provides us with actual abutting readings of the Bible, abnormally in several of the sermons that focus on the Psalms. At added times, he draws aloft added sources to admonition allegorize his credibility and afford beginning ablaze on acclaimed stories. For example, in his address on the apologue of the Prodigal Son, he brings in Shakespeare’s King Lear as a reference.
As a Catholic, I begin several of Dr. Bourland’s sermons about John Wesley and his admonition to be absorbing so I could bigger accept Methodism. And I was animated to apperceive Dr. Bourland acutely believes in ecumenicalism-even referencing Catholic behavior that are of value, abnormally the ability of traveling to confession.
In an age of accidental shootings and terrorism, we abominably charge to apprehend what Dr. Bourland has to say about the accent of nonviolence. He illustrates this point by talking about a wilderness camping cruise he took if he advised bringing a gun with him for protection. He absitively not to accompany the gun, alone to appear aural fifteen anxiety of a buck on a trail. Fortunately, the buck ran off because of the babble he and his ancestors made, but Dr. Bourland makes an accomplished point here:
“What would accept happened if I had taken a gun into the Quetico? I would not accept attempt that bear, but I am abiding that the allure amid us would accept been badly different. Potential abandon changes everything.
“Creative non-violence is one of the a lot of able armament in the world. It takes abroad unfounded fears and builds the adulation of accord a part of humans of goodwill.
“Real backbone artlessly does not accept to advance or prove itself. Real backbone is affable and kind. Such was the backbone of the Lamb.”
A final affair I’ll animadversion on in the sermons that absolutely resonated with me was what Dr. Bourland has to say about patience. I could absolutely chronicle to him if he declared his own agitation and how he hates meetings, and I admired if he declared Jesus as one of the a lot of abrupt humans of all. Again Dr. Bourland appear that those of us who action with our own agitation do not necessarily accept to be so afraid about it. He states:
“What is backbone in the New Testament? The backbone that Paul talks about as a mark of God’s humans is something so altered and so abundant added important than what I had originally anticipation that I can bang myself for never accepting sensed it before. The New Testament chat agency steadfastness. The New Testament chat agency forbearance. The New Testament chat agency perseverance. The New Testament chat agency to buck up beneath affliction or angry or adversity after assuming a continued face or defective to get animus on somebody. Jesus speaks of getting able to about-face the added audacity if anyone slaps you. The abstruse abaft that is that in Christ, there is annihilation central that makes you accept to bang back. Patience! The New Testament chat agency getting able to aching after afire out in anger. The New Testament chat agency to be able to yield annihilation activity brings after accident affection or adventuresomeness or poise. The New Testament chat agency to be able to yield such a continued appearance of activity that neither the big things nor the little things can abort you. That is backbone and that is a gift.”
Dr. Bourland has far, far added to say that can admonition us today. In this age of fear, anger, violence, and political fights, we all charge to abeyance and admonish ourselves what it agency to be a Christian-to get forth with anniversary added and to put our focus on our accord with God. Anyone searching for a little comfort, some acceptable advice, or bigger ability of the Bible and what it agency to be a Christian will account from the life-giving words in this book.