"I, like generations of preachers, have been tutored by C. K. Barrett, the biblical scholar who helped us into the biblical text by sharing his unending delight in the joys of scripture. But until Ben Witherington, I did not know C. K. Barrett the preacher, even less his father, Fred. In this book of Barrett sermons, Ben Witherington shows why he loves Barrett the preacher and how Barrett's preaching can help us contemporary servants of the word. The sermons are disarmingly fresh, direct, and engaging, demonstrating how the biblical word can speak here and how. What a delightful collection of great biblical preaching."
--Will Willimon, Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School; United Methodist Bishop, retired
"C. K. Barrett's sermons are the gospel in miniature. Wearing his scholarship lightly, Barrett confronts us here first and foremost with the person of Jesus. In simple, pithy prose, he subverts comfortable piety and conventional religion by evoking the disturbing voice of Jesus, and then leads us beyond that bracing encounter into the limitless love of God. These down-to-earth reflections are both personal and profoundly theological, and they stand the test of time. Barrett was a brilliant communicator of the gospel in the Methodist chapels of County Durham, but these selected sermons have the capacity to speak powerfully to many contexts today."
--John Barclay, Lightfoot Professor of Biblical Studies, Durham University
"It was rather daunting to be C. K. Barrett's successor. Our local church in Nottingham had been Methodist and so it was appropriate for another Methodist to succeed Barrett in a Theology Department whose other professors had traditionally been Anglicans and Canons of the Cathedral next door to the Department. Initially my wife and I bypassed our nearest Methodist chapel in North Road on Sundays because two New Testament Professors in the congregation might be somewhat intimidating for local (lay) preachers. But we soon realized that we need have no concerns on that front, since Kingsley was away every Sunday preaching elsewhere in the region, with local stewards more than willing to come and pick him up each time, since he didn't drive. In my own preaching round Methodist chapels in the region, a typical warmly appreciative remark would refer to Mr. Barrett who taught somewhere in 'the college in Durham.' One of my favourite memories was of an exceptional occasion when he took the service in North Road and began by holding up a piece of mechanism, which, he explained, came from his wife Margaret's washing machine. He wryly noted Margaret's comment that 'We need a little man' (to mend the machine), and added, 'Apparently I was not "a little man."' No indeed! He was a great man, the leading New Testament scholar in the United Kingdom, and high within the top ten in the world. Daunting, yes; but what an honour!"
--James D. G. Dunn, Emeritus Lightfoot Professor of Divinity, Department of Theology, University of Durham
"C. Kingsley Barrett is widely known as an outstanding and great scholar in New Testament studies. It may be less known, however, that he served as a preacher in nearby communities, in chapels, churches and, at times, in cathedrals, radio broadcasts, and even in the open air. It is therefore of great importance that his sermons now are published and made accessible to readers in general. Barrett drew closely on the biblical text. He selected central themes and concepts and made them to come alive, also citing hymns--in particular hymns written by Charles Wesley--and referring to literature and sports, as well as to historical persons and events. In his piety and theology he was rooted in the Methodist-Wesleyan tradition and managed at the same time to communicate to a wide range of auditors. Thus his sermons were both educational and led the listeners to a life-changing response characterized by dedication and service. With his sonorous voice and his systematic form of presentation he established excellent contact with the congregation. The reader will personally benefit greatly by reading the sermons, as well as in various ways drawing on them in groups and in worship services."
--Peder Borgen, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Religious Studies, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
"At a time when a great gulf exists between serious biblical scholarship and most preaching, the sermons of C. K. Barrett--arguably the most significant New Testament scholar of the twentieth century--offer an instructive and rewarding corrective. Barrett had a gift for drawing out the theological significance of passages so as to stimulate the intellect of the most sophisticated thinkers and at the same time to make the biblical truths interesting, understandable, and relevant to ordinary Christians. These sermons are pure gold."
--David Bauer, Ralph Waldo Beeson Professor of Inductive Bible Studies, Dean of the School of Biblical Interpretation, Asbury Theological Seminary
"Some readers of the luminaries of New Testament commentaries have often pondered how that scholar might preach a New Testament text, how they might apply the text, and how they might work this exacting exegesis out for lay folks. In a former era most of those New Testament scholars could be heard in their local churches preaching, but in the last generation an increasing number of our luminaries have faded from the church scene. It is nothing but a delight and spiritually forming experience to read the sermons of C. K. Barrett, a scholar I have treasured my entire academic life. I now admire his spiritual formation as visible in every one of these sermons."
--Scot McKnight, Julius R. Mantey Professor of New Testament, Northern Seminary, Lombard, IL
"Like many others, I first encountered C. K. Barrett as a great New Testament scholar. But the sermons published here reveal another Barrett--Barrett the preacher. He was a preacher who knew how to unravel a biblical text and put it back together again, a preacher whose sermons sounded like a summons from the God of eternity. It is wonderful to have this treasury of Barrett's pulpit work to inspire a new generation of Christ's heralds today."
--Timothy George, founding dean, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University; general editor of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture
"Sermons that are to be significant beyond their original delivery need to have a clear-eyed grasp of the subject matter of Scripture, of the realities of our world, and of the nature of discipleship. They also need to be engaging and accessible. These sermons by Kingsley Barrett have all these qualities in spades."
--Walter Moberly, Durham University