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Rev. Dr. Cleophus J. LaRue Jr.

PC(USA)’s Synod of the Covenant offers up LaRue’s clues for preaching

When the Rev. Dr. Cleo LaRue hears a sermon, he’s listening for four things: • Was the biblical text central to the sermon? • Was there a controlling thought or identifiable sermonic idea, or was it, as LaRue calls it, “pearls without a string?” • Could you follow the sermon with your listening ear? “I am opposed to long quotes,” the former homiletics professor at Princeton Theological Seminary said. “It takes it out of your voice and makes it difficult to hear and follow with your listening ear. You have to write in conversational tone to engage your congregation.” • Did the sermon make a claim on your life? “Are you preaching because you have something to say,” he asked, “or are you preaching because you have to say something?”