The Gospel for the Person Who Has Everything (Reissued)
The first widely acclaimed book by United Methodist Bishop William H. Willimon, professor of the practice of Christian ministry at Duke Divinity School, based on the good news of the Gospel and the challenges of sharing that news in a contemporary context will be reissued after more than four decades.
The Gospel for the Person Who Has Everything will be republished in November by Paraclete Press after original publication in 1978 by Judson Press. The reissued edition contains a new preface by Willimon reflecting on his more than four decades of ministry and a new foreword by Lillian Daniel, another well-known preacher, teacher, and author.
“My reading back through this book that I wrote during my very first year at Duke Divinity School in 1977 surprised me: From the first days I was already working some of the themes that characterized four decades of ministry,” said Willimon, who also is the director of the Doctor of Ministry Program at the Divinity School. “I see how it pushes themes that I’ve pursued down through the years and, in some strange ways, the book is as needed today as at any time.”
In the book, Willimon endeavors to also bring the Gospel to life for happy and fulfilled human beings who don’t feel the same level of need as expressed by those who are downtrodden, cast out, brokenhearted, and miserable. The church’s message to the wretched and sad must not exclude the strong and joyous, he contends.
Willimon also examines topics including: whether one must be sad, depressed, wallowing in sin and degradation, immature, and childishly dependent in order truly to hear the Gospel; the distinctive evangelistic messages needed to the strong and to the weak; worship that takes God’s strong love seriously; ethics arising out of the response to that love by human beings; and church as a place of continual growth and widening responsibility.
As part of the launch of the republished book, Willimon will hold a Nov. 13 webinar with Paraclete Press titled “Telling the Good News" in which he will discuss what evangelism looks like today and what he’s learned over the course of his ministry.
Willimon is a widely published author, preacher, and teacher of preachers. Many of his eighty books have been translated into many languages and have sold over a million copies. His most recent books are Leading with the Sermon: Preaching as Leadership (Fortress Press) and Aging: Growing Old in the Church (Baker Academic), both published earlier this year.
For twenty years he also served as dean of Duke Chapel and professor of Christian ministry at Duke Divinity School. He has served congregations in Georgia and South Carolina and is a retired bishop of the North Alabama Conference of The United Methodist Church.
See a video with Dr. Willimon discussing the republication of his book The Gospel for the Person Who Has Everything.