Preaching the Gospel of John
John F. O’Grady, Paulist Press, $27.95
A retired Professor of biblical theology at Barry University in Miami, Florida, O’Grady aims to assist preachers at times when the gospel of John occurs in the lectionary cycle.
The result is a book that is in part about the practice of preaching and part comment on John’s gospel.
It must be stated up front that Preaching the Gospel of John is heavily influenced by O’Grady’s Roman Catholicism. Part One acts as a corrective to preaching that is concerned with doctrine rather than being dependent on the writings of the Old and New Testaments, and so emphasises the need to base the “homily” on the Bible and some understanding of contemporary biblical studies.
Part Two focuses on the preacher, which for O’Grady means an ordained priest — no recognition of the ministry of all believers here. These first parts are not particularly useful for Uniting Church preachers.
It is not until Part Three that we reach the Gospel of John, where O’Grady deals with the characteristics of the Johannine community and its problems; the dualisms of John; and a very brief comparison between John and the synoptic gospels.
This book would not be the first one I take off the bookshelf to help me prepare to preach on John’s gospel. However it could be a useful adjunct.