Interview: Duane Litfin

Jesus Creed | 5/26/2018 | Staff
itsdonaldk (Posted by) Level 3
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Duane Litfin is President Emeritus of Wheaton College where he served for seventeen years. He holds a PhD from Purdue in Communication and a second doctoral degree (DPhil) from Oxford in New Testament Studies. His dissertation was published by Cambridge University Press as St. Paul’s Theology of Proclamation: 1 Corinthians 1-4 and Greco-Roman Rhetoric. That book was later expanded by InterVarsity Press to Paul’s Theology of Preaching: The Apostle’s Challenge to the Art of Persuasion in Ancient Corinth which the following interview centers on.

David George Moore conducted the interview. Some of Dave’s teaching videos can be accessed at

Iterations - Work - Paul - Theology - Interest

Moore: There are now three big iterations of your work on Paul’s theology of preaching. When did your long-standing interest in this topic emerge? Why does it continue to have such a hold on your imagination?

Litfin: Going back to my college years, I have long been interested in the complex and fascinating phenomenon of human communication. It’s something that touches all of life, from beginning to end. Personal relationships, public speaking, mass communication, nonverbal communication, the art of persuasion, hermeneutics, exegesis, small group dynamics, propaganda, advertising, the law, etc. The list seems endless. You never run out of interesting issues, especially for those of us in ministry.

Iteration - Book - Christians - Details - Paul

Moore: As you ably say in this latest iteration of the book, many Christians seem to have missed significant details as to Paul’s approach and goals in preaching. Unpack some of the big reasons why this is the case.

Litfin: These projects—increasingly complete versions of one project, really—deal with a unique Pauline passage (1 Corinthians 1-4), which in turn deals with a deeply counterintuitive and counter-cultural insight from the Apostle. This crucial insight is by no means unique to this passage; it is quintessentially biblical and can be found throughout the Scriptures. But the thoroughness with which...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Jesus Creed
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