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Viva Vox

Viva Vox: Rediscovering the Sacramentality of the Word through the Annunciation

Joshua D. Genig
Copyright Date: 2015
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  • Book Info
    Viva Vox
    Book Description:

    In failing to take the sacramentality of the word of God seriously, the preaching of the church has suffered negative consequences. As a result, preaching has often become, at best, a form of instruction or, at worst, an incantation of sorts rather than an integral part of deepening our relationship with Christ by functioning sacramentally to bring about divine participation with Jesus’ corporeal humanity in his living word. In order to recover this sacramental reality, this volume argues that one should consider the annunciation to Mary where, with the sermon of Gabriel, the corporeal Christ took up residence in the flesh of his hearer, and delivered to her precisely what was contained within his own flesh: the fullness of the Godhead (Col. 2:9). When understood as a biblical paradigm for the church, it becomes clear that what happened to Mary can, indeed, happen to Christians of the present day. Proclamation, thus, delivers the Christ to us.

    eISBN: 978-1-4514-9425-9
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xviii)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xx)
  6. 1 Defining the Terms
    (pp. 1-58)

    Since our focus is particularly on the sacramentality of the word of God and its interplay with the pastoral act of preaching, two words are critical to our investigation and need to be explored in further detail before proceeding: word and sacrament. While I will not offer new definitions here, as previous definitions are sufficient for the task, I do provide an historical examination of the ways in which the classic definitions of both word and sacrament have narrowed from their original meanings and uses. Additionally, I provide relevant reasons for this theological shift. I then describe what has classically...

  7. 2 The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Calvinistic Theology of the Word and Preaching
    (pp. 59-78)

    In the previous chapter, we observed 1) the dramatic narrowing in definition of both the word of God and sacrament in the history of the church, particularly in light of the Reformation, and 2) the way in which words might once again function sacramentally. In this chapter, I will explore the place that the word of God holds in Lutheran theology of more recent memory, particularly as it has come to be expressed in the preaching of the LCMS. In order to accomplish this, I will begin with an exploration of the ways in which the word of God and...

  8. 3 The Word as Viva Vox
    (pp. 79-106)

    In the previous two chapters, we observed the narrowing in definition of both word of God and sacrament and, consequently, how that narrowing has negatively affected the preaching of the LCMS. In this third chapter, I explore the nature of the word of God as a living voice (aviva vox) meant to be delivered to its hearers as far more than mere information, but as the fullness of the person of Christ (divine and human natures), who not only came as man for us, but was involved in the creation of the very matter that became the vehicle of...

  9. 4 Adaptability A Marian Example of a Christological Reality
    (pp. 107-136)

    Having discovered that the word of God, by its very nature as a christological reality, bears not merely information (secondary theology) but the fullness of theLogosmade flesh (primary theology), in this fourth chapter I begin to develop the central theme of this work: Mary as the icon of sacramental hearing. I also press hard to see how we, too, might live as sacramental hearers of the word of God and, consequently, how preaching might function more like the annunciation and less like a theological lecture.

    I first examine the preaching contained within the annunciation, specifically the words used...

  10. 5 Tangibility Mary’s Joyful Receptivity of the Angel’s Sacramental Sermon
    (pp. 137-176)

    In this fifth chapter, I explore how Luke presents the way Mary received the words of the angel, and their potential implications for a sacramental understanding of preaching. In particular, I examine three things: 1) Mary’s question, 2) the angel’s sacramental response, and 3) Mary’s active and joyfulfiat. I observe how Mary was both a fulfillment of the creative act by receiving the “Let there be” of creation and also a representation of the new and greater temple by bearing in her womb the Word of God. I then demonstrate how the words of the angel actuallydeliveredthe...

  11. 6 Adaptability and Tangibility Sacramental Preaching and Hearing Today
    (pp. 177-186)

    In this chapter, I propose that the two-levels-of-meaning approach that we encountered in the annunciation to Mary in chapter 4 (where the message of the angel displayed a unique adaptability as it was spoken to her and to us) is not just a proper model for understanding the Christian’s participation in the word of God (how we come to know and embrace the Scriptures). More importantly, it also allows for a more robust understanding of the Christian’s participation in the divine nature of Jesus Christ by way of that same word of God as it is proclaimed in preaching. Participation...

  12. 7 Contemporary Approaches to Preaching
    (pp. 187-212)

    Now that it has been established that preaching is in desperate need of renewal and, moreover, that the annunciation to Mary may be the clearest path forward in a world where the definitions of word and sacrament have been unnecessarily narrowed, it is time to examine some contemporary approaches to preaching in light of our previous discoveries. First, I will briefly explore two texts that treat preaching as a sacramental activity, one Roman Catholic and the other Protestant, searching for their limitations with regard to a robust sacramentality of preaching. Second, I will briefly explore two major preaching forms being...

  13. Conclusion
    (pp. 213-216)

    It is clear that, from the beginning of time, God intended this creation to be the sacramental landscape by which his creatures might experience him fully and repeatedly. This experience of the divine involved both knowledge and mystery. However, with the fall into sin, the former appears to be what we have striven after, often at the expense of the latter.

    In this search for knowledge since the fall into sin, the church has tried to put definitions to specific theological terms, not least of which are word and sacrament. In this offering of definitions, over time both of these...

  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 217-236)
  15. Index
    (pp. 237-242)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 243-243)