In my estimation, there is little sense in pursuing this competition into further rounds. Pawnhandler, as in Round 1, is head and shoulders above the other contestants. His entry for this round scores all 4's again. He articulated a clear position, creatively and truly used some scripture to support it, spoke as a real person, and provided compelling reasons that his audience should endorse his position. He earns another perfect total of 20.
1) This round, the contestants were instructed to endorse one of four possible positions. Whodey did not attempt to do this. Rather, he opted to give a meta-sermon about the class of positions. For this disregard, he scores a 1.
2) He tries to pick an obscure verse and make it fit his musings. He scores a 2 here.
3) I suppose the cited verse sort of pertains to the realm of this round. He scores a 2 here.
4) For baring his soul and admitting that he does not have a personal endorsement of any of the topic, I'll give a 2 for the criterion of confessional mood.
5) If I don't even know what position Whodey is endorsing, I obviously can't say whether the sermon moved me to adopt it. There was really no diligent effort made with respect to persuasion. Another 1 here.
1) He earns a 4 here for taking a stand and preaching on it.
2) He didn't pick a verse that left much room for creativity with respect to his position. I'll give a 2 here.
3) It's hard to find a better verse than this one with respect to maintaining its original intent. This scores a 4.
4) I didn't really see any attempt at creating a confessional mood. This scores a 1.
5) To the extent that the Bible is accepted as authority, this is a compelling sermon for women to maintain their "subjection" and "silence" and for men to not let them "usurp authority." I'll award a 3 here.
Pawnhandler’s sermon demonstrates why confessional preaching is so vital to a good sermon. He recounts his history of growing up in a Christian home and coming to an awareness of something being amiss in the picture of women being left out of the priesthood. I very much liked the way he took us on his journey. His choice of a Scripture passage was creative in that it was a “universal” passage that everyone could relate to in terms of calling forth their talents and gifts. He remained positive and presented women in ministry as an opportunity for the church. I also felt this was a better sermon than his first as he seemed more relaxed and yet assured of himself. It is good to see learning taking place. Well done.
Whodey’s sermon uses the Book of Numbers to validate his belief that women can indeed be pastors. I found the whole line of logic to be a stretch, but I give him credit for using an obscure passage. I have the same reaction to this sermon as I did his first. You need to focus. The whole thing about lesbians was a big distraction for me. Also when you say “what do I know and who am I to say?” you need to be reminded that you are basically giving people a reason to tune you out. In your last paragraph you started to get it going. You said, “God has a plan for all of us and we all have a role to play and a job to do.” This made more sense than anything else you had to say. It was clear and to the point. Get on some Ritalin and I know improvement will ensue.
Yuga’s focus of justice was the call to let women be pastors. He cited the dictionary’s definition of justice as his scriptural passage. That was fine, but I just had the sense that it was almost like Rwingett lite. He espoused a view but for me it lacked interest and a creative bent. I also would have liked to have had more personal/confessional content in it. It would have been nice to hear about maybe a person he knew who had been denied “justice.” Here is a point I would have made to improve it. When you say that our ultimate happiness come from living fulfilling lives, talk about how painful it would be for anyone to be deprived of that opportunity. Most churches would disagree with your theology of ultimate happiness but that is OK as it is your sermon. Good job.
Wittywonka’s appeal was to let homosexuals into the ministry. He basically cites the from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount to include us all in the problem of sin, thus not negating gays. I needed a little more. I needed to hear about some gays and the struggles that he sees in their lives of being singled out. I think that was my main criticism of the sermon.. I think another point you could have made to help your case is that the matter of the pastor is one of “calling and competence” and not sexual orientation.
Josephw, you get an A+ for picking out the most clear passage on your topic. And to your credit you used the King James Version as it is the “only inerrant version.” You give Scripture THE authority for addressing this. So my question to you is this: Why do we need your opinion if Scripture is so clear?” I was left wanting to hear something confessional from you especially something about what it is like for you to have a daughter who might want to teach a group that included some men. If you had voiced that struggle, it would have gone over really big with me. Also, you made, in my opinion, a huge logical mistake. While you are against women in authority, you cited children who look up and say “yes, daddy or yes, mommy.” They say “yes, mommy” because they have authority. OK, hang in there, we’re going to have a really good round in the future for you.
1. You stayed on topic well and made clear which position you were sermonizing for.
2. I have heard this verse many, many times but not in respect to the widespread misogyny and discrimination that goes on in most religions. I think it’s difficult to use a passage creatively and still keep the integrity of the passage but you’ve definitely shone a new light on an old saw.
3. You kept the integrity of the passage.
4. You use a confessional mode very naturally. I like your style of revealing something personal without going too far.
5. This was a persuasive sermon. You lined up your points logically. You lobbed the ball into the congregation’s court with “Every one of you sitting here can name a woman who remains holy in spite of the troubles around her.” And ended with a strong call to action.
1. You went overboard with attempts to be funny. It was distracting from your point which you didn’t get to until your last paragraph.
2. I found your scripture choice to be very interesting. Since God assigned the tribe of Levi a certain role in the temple, it’s God’s place – and not man’s - to assign roles to each person. So, overall, I’d say you did well with the creativity portion.
3. I ended up reading that whole chapter (Numbers 3) to make sure I understood the context and felt that you kept the integrity of the verse you chose.
4. There was no confessional aspect to this sermon.
5. This wasn’t nearly as persuasive as it could have been. I didn’t even know what side you were arguing for until the very end. You should have been more concerned about making yourself clear from the very beginning.
1. You made your point clear early on and stayed on topic throughout.
2. Usually I find building an essay, argument or sermon around a dictionary definition to be awfully trite but just the fact that you used the dictionary as your scriptural reference was unexpected enough to warrant a nod to your creativity.
3. Since dictionary definitions do not lend themselves to interpretation and there is no context, the integrity of the passage isn’t applicable.
4. There was no confessional aspect here.
5. You could have been much more persuasive. You only used about half the words in the limit and you could have gone into much greater depth in order to reach your audience. For instance, you said “We live fulfilling lives by stripping ourselves of our selfish desires and preconceptions, finding that by doing so we are consciousness – and this my friends is the greatest wisdom that we can ever know. I hope that all of you will come to understand why.” This begs for greater detail. Whose selfish desires and preconceptions are getting in the way? How does stripping them help us achieve greater consciousness? Consciousness of what? Etc.
1. You stated your position in the beginning and stayed on topic throughout. I was hoping somebody would tackle one of the homosexuality topics.
2. The verse you chose has Jesus warning us of our tendency to condemn sins in others while overlooking or excusing our own. This was a good choice in that it tempers a pretty inflammatory topic.
3. You’ve definitely kept the integrity of the verse you chose.
4. Except for the “including me” bit in your 3rd paragraph, there was no confessional aspect. You do a good job in reaching out to your congregation on a personal level and asking them to look at their motives and behavior but offer nothing personal in return. A simple few sentences about why you feel moved to speak on this subject will add some give-and-take and make your words weightier.
5. You have a nice way with words and I can see you as a very effective speaker/writer. However, you only used about half of your sermon space and you spent a couple of sentences at the beginning of the third paragraph telling us what you were not going to talk about. If you took those out and spent a little time sharing some personal experience or giving examples of homosexuals as effective leaders, your sermon would more immediacy and more relevance to your audience. And that would make it much more persuasive