Pastors face many challenges. Suicide in a congregation is amongst the most heart-rending and intimidating. However, the preacher has a unique capacity to engender gospel hope for preparing the congregation and comforting the bereaved. To do so, preachers need help understanding the challenges and opportunities presented by addressing suicide from the pulpit.
In Preaching Hope in Darkness, two practitioners in fields that do not typically interact—homiletics (Scott M. Gibson) and psychology (Karen Mason)—work together to support the preacher in this difficult task. Gibson and Mason offer wise advice on a range of topics such as suicide prevention, post-crisis care, and funeral sermon preparation. With an appendix of sample sermons and a sample funeral liturgy, Preaching Hope in Darkness is an essential go-to guide for this difficult topic.
Every pastor will find this a very profound but readable publication.
–The Rev. Dr. Raymond F. Pendleton, senior professor of counseling, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
I don’t know of anyone who knows more about preaching than Scott, nor more about suicide than Karen. Combining their expertise makes for an invaluable and unparalleled source of wisdom for preachers and pastoral caregivers in responding to the devastation caused by suicide.
–David A. Currie, professor of pastoral theology, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
A much-needed text for any seminary student or parish pastor.
–Rev. Dr. Dennis Goff, The Lutheran Foundation, Fort Wayne, IN
“preaching the hope of the gospel is key to protecting against suicide.” (Page 1)
Scott M. Gibson (DPhil, University of Oxford) holds the David E. Garland Chair of Preaching and is the director of the PhD in Preaching Program at Baylor University/Truett Seminary (Waco, TX). He is cofounder of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and the author or coauthor of several books on preaching.
Karen Mason has an MA in Old Testament and a PhD in counseling psychology and is professor of counseling and psychology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (South Hamilton, MA). She is the author of Preventing Suicide: A Handbook for Pastors, Chaplains and Pastoral Counselors (InterVarsity Press, 2014).