No Pretty Sermons

“In recommending a program of general reading for preachers, I will not be asking for a recrudescence of what Reinhold Niebuhr called ‘pretty sermons.’ Niebuhr appears to have had in mind not just poetry-laden sermons, or florid sermons, but any sermons of highly refined rhetoric. Niebuhr said he wanted to keep his sermons ‘rough,’ instead, ‘just to escape the temptation of degenerating into an elocutionist.’”

Plantinga, Reading for Preaching, p. 5