[The Propositional Element of a Sermon by Dr. Isaac R. Clark]


Isaac R. Clark

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Isaac R. Clark Memorial Collection

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circa 1963

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Dr. Isaac R. Clark lectures on the propositional element of a sermon. He explains that to give a proposition means to take a stand and have a position. Clark talks about how the proposition is the groundwork and foundation of a sermon. He describes the proposition as essential to the sermon. Dr. Clark also shares with the class the importance of internalizing by thinking through their own meanings. Also included are brief segments of the inauguration of Atlanta mayor Sam Massell and comments by Ralph Abernathy on Martin Luther King Jr.

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00:00:05 Dr. Clark talks about class contract and term project. Also unidentified men talk about previous assignments they turned in.

00:05:09 Talks about term project specifications.

00:11:33 Reviews previous class discussion about proposition. If one does not have a proposition one does not have a sermon.

00:15:03 Talks about the prefix for proposition, to be for or against something, and to take a stand and have a position. Gives the etymology of word proposition.

00:21:47 Talks about a proposition has to do with the groundwork of preaching and what one builds a sermon on. What the preacher builds must have meaningful foundation.

00:36:20 Raises question of why a sermonic proposition is essential to the sermon and why if a proposition is missing you don’t have sermon. Talks about three reasons (reasons related to the preacher, sermon, and the congregation) why proposition is necessary.

00:50:00 Talks about why it is an act of profound kindness to share a divine holistic meaning by delivering to them a comprehensive mountain type proposition in all sermons.

01:00:16 Audio cuts off.

01:00:31 Inauguration of Atlanta mayor Sam Massell.

01:04:33 Unidentified man speaks.

01:04:48 Dr. Clark calls a list of names and appointment schedules, and reviews previous class.

01:24:23 Ask question to students regarding their understanding of why they are at ITC. To know the deep reason in their soul that they come to ITC (a holy place).

01:30:36 Talks about being aware of propositional judgment.

01:38:02 Talks about complaints from peers about propositions being too long. Must deliver the propositions correctly.

01:47:56 Talks about second preliminary emphasis on using propositions wisely has to do with the prevailing sin of preachers wanting to do it only in three ways.

01:55:47 Talks about how he doesn’t want students to imitate anyone, and how students will never be able to internalize unless they think through their own meanings. You don’t just preach with your words you preach with your total being.

02:01:48 Singing by Mary Gurley.

02:06:09 Ralph Abernathy talks about Martin Luther King Jr.

02:07:49 Audio ends.


The Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library acknowledges the generous support of the National Endowment for Humanities - Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Implementation Project Grant in supporting the processing and digitization of a number of its major archival collections as part of the project: Spreading the Word: Expanding Access to African American Religious Archival Collections at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library.


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