Recommendations

Some comments from readers of Preaching Peace…

“Michael Hardin's website, PreachingPeace.org, strikes me as a wonderful tool for preachers who need more scriptural, historical and exegetical information as they prepare their sermons. It is well written, easy to use, and very well informed both in terms of traditional scholarship and of the ‘mimetic theory.’ Using PreachingPeace.org, with its breadth of reflection and its wealth of documentation, speakers will be able to enliven their presentations by presenting contemporary examples in a new light.” –Rene Girard

Rene Girard has been a godsend to many, as he has helped–as Karl Barth and John Yoder help–many to rediscover the strange new world of the Bible. Indeed, part of that rediscovery involves the surprise that the Gospel frees us from the violence that grips our lives. This web site wonderfully provides resources for the kind of discussion we so desperately need if we are not to lose hold of the nonviolence of the Gospel. - Stanley Hauerwas

From Brians blog: "Wednesday – Thursday – I really enjoyed my time at the Preaching Peace conference at Messiah College. I had a chance to present a lecture called "Pre-emptive Peacemaking" But even better, I had the chance to hear some top-notch lectures and participate in some truly "generative" dialogue. If you’re looking for a good conference to attend – where you’ll hear things and think about things that virtually nobody else is addressing – check out one of their conferences. Christians preaching peace … what a concept!"  - Brian McLaren

Your site and other Girardian insights have helped rejuvenate my understanding of Jesus, the Gospel and preaching…in my 37th year of priesthood. Thank you!- Larry Estey

One pastor’s recommendation of “preaching peace” ~

Truthfully I must say I stumbled upon www.preachingpeace.org in much the same way I stumbled upon the work of Rene Girard. Through no clever pursuit(s) on my part, I had seen a publication advertisement about James Alison’s Raising Abel: Recovering the Eschatological Imagination. I thought, “Now that’s an interesting title . . . .” and I ordered the book.

Now 10 years later, what began as “an interesting title” continues being for me the most challenging hermeneutical guide for preaching and teaching the “gospel of peace” I’ve ever undertaken. I can readily identify with Archbishop Rowan Williams’ confession that this preached peace can so pursue us, one eventually surrenders to its call: “You might as well go ahead and become a Christian.”

As a resource for “preaching the peace of Christ,” www.preachingpeace.org has provided sooner rather than later what other ground breaking hermeneutical shifts are often slow in doing [if ever] – i.e. the makings for a preaching tradition. One has only to consider that while the truly revolutionary writings coming out of Vatican II’s Nostra Aetate was a kingdom catalyst in Jewish and Christian relations; while the re-reading of both Jesus and the Apostle Paul from within first century Palestinian Judaism, and not to the contrary, continues in abundance; still a preaching tradition of this wholly new view has yet to take hold in pulpit or pew.

www.preachingpeace.org is graciously moving us with a weekly prompting of what the possibilities of the Christ-gospel “sounds like,” and hope to God “acts like.” What better resource is there for we who’s calling it is to “proclaim the fullness of peace in messiah Jesus” than having a weekly opportunity to overhear what is really new about God’s good news to the peoples of planet earth? - Grayson Lucky

PreachingPeace.org is the best web-based introduction to Rene Girard I have found on the web. The site’s introductory essays lay out the basic lines of Girard’s thought, and its relevance to theology and culture, with clarity and insight. As well, the Bible studies and lectionary guides by Anthony Bartlett and others, articles on Ecospirituality and related topics, regular book reviews by Michael Hardin and Jeff Krantz, and conference information make this the perfect place to visit for clergy people, theologians, activists, students and others. PreachingPeace.org is animated by a prophetic desire for social change and renewal fueled by a deep commitment to liberatory Christian witness. An oasis in the desert, progressive Christians, Jews and others will find much refreshment here in their spiritual and political journeys -Mark Wallace, Professor Swarthmore College and author of Finding God in the Singing River

I have just found your website and I believe it will help me on my journey. I just wanted to say thanks and I hope to grow and learn and become what God intended me to be. Thanks Again, -Michele Paccione President of the DWC-Democratic Women’s Club of Palm Bay

"This website explores the entire lectionary through the lens of nonviolence, relying heavily on the work of Rene Girard – a French philosopher who converted to Christianity. Its sometimes pretty heady stuff, but very empowering."– justiceministry.org

"Thanks very much for the work both of you are doing. Your focus on the work of René Girard, particularly for evangelical Christianity, is a wonderful service. Girard’s exposition of the biblical witness to revelation, especially the revelation of Christ as the Innocent Victim whose redemptive work includes exposing the scapegoat mechanism underlying all cultures and human relations, is needed now more than ever in these apocalyptic times. Your development of a theological agenda in which you relate Girard’s thought to theologians like Barth, Bonhoeffer, and others should be of great appeal to pastors and all those committed to the proclamation of the good news of God’s peace." -Jim Williams, Former President of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion

I am so happy to read your material! Told my pastor about mimemic violence and scapegoating today and gave him your website. -Brenda Hardt www.preachwithjustice-texas.org

Michael & Jeff — Thank you for your site. It’s been a big help to me for a couple of years now as I seek to communicate the radical discipleship commitment of peacemaking in a graceful way to the congregation I pastor. -(The Rev.) Charles Booker-Hirsch Pastor, Northside Presbyterian Church

First, I want to tell you how much I enjoy your site. I first found out about it from Paul Neuchterlein’s website. Needless to say, I’m a Girardian…I even go to the meetings… I’m a Trappist monk at New Melleray Abbey in Iowa and each week I look at only three lectionary commentary websites: Yours, Paul’s, and Brian Stoffregen’s. All are excellent! -Br. Jonah Wharff, o.c.s.o.

“Your website, www.preachingpeace.org, contains a wealth of very helpful information about Rene Girard’s work, about preaching the Christian Gospel, and about the role of the Jewish and Christian scriptures in exposing the mechanisms of mimesis, scapegoating, and violence in our culture. As someone who has worked a lot recently with "Jewish Christian dialogue," I was especially pleased to see how user-friendly it was, and how encouraging of open and probing discussion–an important step, I think, in the process of peacemaking. “ -Sandor Goodhart President, Colloquium on Violence and Religion

“I am impressed with PreachingPeace.org! More than simply presenting the results of Girard’s research, and others related to it, and then working these results through given texts, you attempt to develop a progressive theological agenda that moves forward polemically, especially in regard to Evangelical fundamentalism. 

This is really of capital importance. Given the frightening power that this profound cultural distortion of the gospel has in contemporary North America it is vital that there is a site like yours taking it on hermeneutically and theologically. I can only applaud your use of Girard allied to such theological greats as Karl Barth, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and in N.T. criticism N.T. Wright, C.H. Dodd, etc. All in all I think the site is an evangelical service to the Christian community and is essential as a project of engaged theology.” –Tony Bartlett author of Cross Purposes

“Nice to see your site. All the best with this good project” –John S. McClure, George Finney Professor of Homiletics, Vanderbilt Divinity School

“Thank God for you and your work on PreachingPeace. Well done, good and faithful servants!”-Teresa Stricklen, Assistant Professor of Homiletics, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

“I am impressed with the scope and quality of what you have been doing. I like what I have seen. Keep up your good work. I’m going to keep on dropping in on your efforts.” -J.R. Burkholder

“I am enjoying this new website. Thanks for your work on this site. I will come back to it often.” -Tim Fretheim, Chaplain, Forensic Psychiatric Hospital, Vancouver B.C.

“I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for your wonderful intelligently put together site. Your site has been invaluable over the last months both for sermon preparation and putting together study guides. I’ve recommended you to many.” -Celia Milton

“I had not seen your site before, but I liked it, intend to use it and will tell others about it. Keep up the good work.”– Geoff Nelson

“I am a minister in Salt Lake City and greatly appreciate your website. Thanks for your work.” -Erin Gilmore

“I have logged onto your site several times and find your writings (both of you) to be very helpful and thought provoking.” -Tom Metzger, Noblesville, IN

I have just been reading some of the articles and commentary on your website. It is wonderful work. Many thanks for your time.-Trevor Merrill

Thank you for this wonderful gift. It is helpful in my preaching and teaching peace. I have shared it with our local interfaith coalition of peace keepers. -Jay Cummings

I appreciate this site very much and always find something useful in preparing my sermons. Thanks again for all your good information.-Donna Schramm

Continued gratitude for your site. Used weekly. . -Grayson L. Lucky

Thank you so much for your wonderful, needed and timely website. It is a great resource. May God continue to bless and keep you. -Lea Gilmore

Thank you for the fine work you all are making available for folks! -Jenee Woodard (textweek.com)

Shalom! Thank God I’ve found you!. I praise and give thanks to God for the work you do. -Patrick Seyler

I’m very impressed with your site! As someone deeply interested in the Girardian system and as a full-time pastor, I appreciate solid resources. Your site looks very helpful. I’ve just discovered it. Peace. -Robert

I just discovered your site and felt "heard" and "home". Thank you for your very careful exegetical work and your thoughtful commentary. Your writing is very helpful and most timely.-Katherine Hawker

Today I came across your "Preaching Peace" web page while poking around for children’s message ideas. What a wonderful resource! Thanks for the time and effort that went into this. I will pass it on! -(Rev.) Pamela Griffith Pond (ELCA)

Thank you for a useful, well-researched site, easy-to-use site!! I love how I can grab the readings for the day, NRSV version, along with your thoughts on different angles of the issues raised, and how they are linked to contemporary life. The ‘So What?’ which is often missing from online sermons. A breath of fresh air!! -Alan Shaw

I just came across your website, "Preaching Peace." I was very impressed and encouraged by the work you are doing. It fits in with a growing interest of mine. Discovering your website today, gives me some hope for the New Year. Thank you. -Tom Petriano

I’m studying to be a pastor in the Lutheran church. Recently I’ve become very interested in Rene Girard, and have been looking all over the Net for material on his theories. I found his thought immediately helpful in interpreting the biblical texts. Your site is particularly excellent. Thank you for your concise summary of Girard for preachers. -Kristian Wold

Just came across your fascinating site. Keep up your good work Salaam-shalom-Jean-Jacques Goulet

I visited your site for the first time, I didn’t realize that there was another Girard oriented site out there. Great stuff! I mainly wanted to thank you and congratulate you on a fine site. -Paul Neuchterlein

I have been using your reflections from the Preaching Peace website for about half a year in my preaching and teaching. You give me a theological framework to articulate my struggles. I have been an ordained minister in the Reformed Church in America for 25 years I like the new layout on the Preaching Peace home page, as well as your nicely articulated purpose. May our God continue to guide you in your ministry -Rev. Hank Lay

Thank you for the work you are doing to build peace-making alternatives to violence; and your cooperation with God’s reign by providing this much needed information! I am challenged and inspired by it, and it will aid my teaching and preaching. -Dan Belgum-Blad

This site offers deep, thoughtful reflection on the lectionary texts. The perspective: peace, obviously, but more than that, a real, thorough examination of American imperialism, mimesis, and how the words of Jesus can speak through all of these things to reach us today. Highly recommended. -Beth Quick

Thanks for your generous and selfless contribution to the Church’s thinking. -Roy Hoch

This website explores the entire lectionary through the lens of nonviolence, relying heavily on the work of Rene Girard – a French philosopher who converted to Christianity. Its sometimes pretty heady stuff, but very empowering. -JusticeMinistry.org

I wanted to write you a note and tell you thanks for the work you are doing via the Preaching Peace website. For years now I have read your lectionary commentaries and have found them extremely helpful, if not life-altering. -Rev. Dr. John Mann, Scotland

I came across your site in a search for Lenten texts and have been struck by what you and Jeff are presenting. I’ve just started exploring your web pages and will be looking through your stuff for the next few weeks. Thanks for posting your thoughts and insights. -Rev Dan Boyce