As Christmas draws near, and the season of Advent is being celebrated by Christians around the world, Dr. Stephen Gunter challenges us to rethink some of the misconceptions of this important liturgical season. First he asks, “Why do we do Advent, and why is it so hard?”, then he goes on to say that our expression of Advent must have a theological grounding – that it’s not just about baby Jesus coming, but that God incarnate came to be with us. We can’t separate the FIRST coming from the reign of God in the world or the SECOND coming – they are all part of the same narrative that informs the Advent liturgy. Finally, in the third sermon, he uses a story from Donna VanLiere’s book, “The Christmas Journey”, which paints a very “unromantic” view of the manger scene, but that makes Jesus and his birth very real and meaningful.
We encourage you to use these sermons in your individual and/or group devotional time to help you think more deeply about the season of Advent and Jesus’ coming.
Not A Silent Night by Adam Hamilton (built as a group study)
Advent: The Once & Future Coming of Jesus Christ by Fleming Rutledge (for going deeper theologically)
About Stephen Gunter
Dr. Stephen Gunter is a “teaching evangelist” and director of The Foundation for Evangelism’s E. Stanley Jones Professors of Evangelism. He spent more than two decades at Emory University and Duke Divinity School where he served as Research Professor and Associate Dean for Methodist Studies. He has lectured and preached in more than 25 world areas, while remaining active in his annual conference as an ordained Methodist clergy. In 2017, Stephen became “Theologian in Residence” at Church of the Servant in Oklahoma City. His most recent book, Arminius and His ‘Declaration of Sentiments’ (Baylor University Press) was translated into Portuguese.