Luther Faculty Publications

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2006


Martin Luther University College


Some time ago, a pastor friend of mine was lamenting the burden of weekly preaching. His agony was largely reduced to the pointed observation that it is hard “to come up with something new each week.” This comment underscores what has become the task of our time: to verify worth by demonstrating novelty. Novelty has become, for better or worse, canonical. In this article I will explore this arrival of canonical novelty and suggest a faithful reappropriation of the category of novelty under the discipline of word and sacrament. In the latter task, I first consider novelty christologically before attending to our eschatologically conditioned experience of authentic novelty. In so doing, I pose some possible implications of a notion of novelty transformed by the confession that Christ alone makes all things new.


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