Drawing on newly ubiquitous online services, Pew has tried to catalogue the subject matter of contemporary sermons.
By Casey Cep, October 7, 2021
“Now that I have preached about a dozen sermons I find I am repeating myself,” a young minister wrote despairingly in his diary in 1915.
He was barely out of school and only a few months into his first call, at Bethel Evangelical Church in Detroit. “The few ideas that I had worked into sermons at the seminary have all been used, and now what?”
It would be fourteen years before anyone else read those words, published under the title “Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic.”
It would take even longer for their author, Reinhold Niebuhr, to become one of the best-known theologians in the country, famous for works such as “The Irony of American History” and “The Nature and Destiny of Man.”