How does the preacher know what God might say now based upon the many things God said then? Preachers and theologians throughout Christian history have grappled with Scripture’s diverse emphases alongside the urgent task of declaring the authoritative Word of God in the contemporary pulpit. Aaron Edwards offers a new way of engaging with this problem, by exploring the theological relationship between biblical dialectics and heraldic proclamation.
Edwards highlights the theological necessity of dialectical variety, without forfeiting assertiveness in the prophetic moment of preaching. A vast array of key voices from the theological tradition are drawn upon – including Augustine, Aquinas, Eckhart, Luther, Calvin, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Chesterton, Barth, Bultmann, Tillich, Ebeling, and others – to navigate the connection between Scriptural unity, clarity, and paradoxical plurivocality, leading to a nuanced account of dialectic. Applying this to the homiletically neglected concept of 'heraldic’ confidence in preaching, Edwards examines the theological possibility of preaching in light of dialectical complexity via its 'prophetic’ dimension. He shows how the uniquely revelatory relationship of Word and Spirit enables Scriptural illumination, prophetic discernment, and dialectical decisiveness in the 'momentary’ encounter which undergirds all Christian proclamation.