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Levels of Love

Sunday, May 21, 1967

Dr. King describes five levels of love, from lowest to highest: utilitarian love, friendship, romantic love, humanitarian love, and agape. The last he refers to as Christian love, the love of God operating in the human heart. The first four, he states, are love for one’s own sake. The fifth is love for another person for their sake. This sermon was delivered by Dr. King on May 21, 1967 at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

New Wine in Old Bottles

Sunday, January 2, 1966

In a New Year's sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Dr. King addresses Matthew 9:17. His explains that new ideas or inspiration cannot thrive in closed minds or old structures, such as the idea of equality in a segregated society. While Victor Hugo's "idea whose time has come" may be here, Dr. King says, we need to "help time" and overcome the initial resistance to new ideas with persistence and a transformation of the old structures.

The Eternality of God Verses The Temporality of Man

This document is an outline of the sermon titled "The Eternality of God Versus the Temporality of Man." In the first two sections, Dr. King contrasts the time-conditioned nature of man with God, who transcends time. The final portion highlights a significant fact that God is absolute and unchangeable.

Dr. King Sermon Rough Draft - "Man Incurably Religious"

The document, shown here, is a rough draft of sermon notes, prepared by Dr. King, under the title "Man Incurably Religious." The exact timeframe, of this sermon draft, is unknown. Dr. King, in this draft, puts the spotlight on examples such as a baby's attachment to a mother, a flower's direction toward the sun and the flight pattern of a pigeon. He used a quotation of St. Augustine that said, "We come forth from God and we shall be homesick until we return to him."

Humanism

Dr. King discusses the weakness of "non theistic humanism."

Outline for Why Does History Move?

Dr. King's sermon outline references Hegel and Marx in relation to questions surrounding the concept of history.

Unity

These notes, prepared by Dr. King, were for a sermon entitled "Unity." This sermon, believed to be composed during the time of 1948-1954, was never delivered.

Handwritten Notecard about Peace

On this notecard, Dr. King outlines J Maritain's views on Peace, from the book Christianity and Democracy.

God's Relation to the World

Dr. King outlines the sermon "God's Relation to the World." Dr. King breaks down the sermon into three themes: God's creation of the world, His conservation of the world, and His transformation of the world.

Our God is Able

This is a chapter draft of the sermon for Dr. King’s book Strength to Love. Using Jude 1:24 as his text, Dr. King expounds on his belief that there is a God of power that is able to sustain the universe, conquer the evils of history, and give us the interior resources to face the trials of life. He speaks of his own experience of turning to God when he was exhausted and overcome with fear after a telephone death threat. His inner peace restored, he was able calmly to accept the news three days later that his home had been bombed.

Why the Christian Must Oppose Segregation

This draft examines segregation and the reason Dr. King deems it his responsibility to discuss the matter.

Tribute to Dr. King by Rev. Joseph L. Roberts

Friday, April 5, 1968

In this document, Rev. Joseph L. Roberts, Presiding Elder for the West Detroit District of the AME church, delivered this profound tribute to Dr. King, the day after his assassination.

Fleeing From God

This sermon, delivered by Dr. King on April 4, 1956, discusses the human desire to escape God. Dr. King attributes this inclination to the fact that man wants to hide from God's immanent nature and harbors a general unwillingness to follow God's commandments.

Moving to Another Mountain

Wesleyan University publishes an edited transcript of a speech given by Dr. King in 1964. The publication is made in the aftermath of Dr. King's assassination.

"A Knock At Midnight"

Sunday, August 9, 1964

This is a draft of the sermon Dr. King wrote comparing a story from the Bible in St. Luke to the struggle to obtain equality and civil rights.

Dr. King Outlines "If"

Dr. King expounds on the subject "if." He proclaims the word to be primary in the English language.

What Is Man?

This is one of several documents where Dr. King explores the nature of "man." He considers the question "what is man?" to be a timeless concept that "confronts any generation." Dr. King's analysis incorporates Biblical and Shakespearean texts, among other notable references.

Shattered Dreams and Unfulfilled Hopes

Dr. King based this sermon on unfulfilled hopes and dreams. He focused on the story of the Apostle Paul and his wish to journey to Spain. Paul did eventually go to Spain but "as a prisoner and not as a free man." Dr. King told his congregation that they all faced unfulfilled dreams at some point in their lives.

Predestination

Dr. King defines predestination.

The Tension Between Life's Palm Sunday and Life's Good Friday

Dr. King delivered this sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church in April of 1960. In this sermon he discussed two days of prime importance in the life of Jesus namely Palm Sunday, "the moment of fulfillment" and Good Friday, the day of his crucifixion.

God

Dr. King records a portion of Carl Jung's argument that God is a function of the unconscious.

Death

Dr. King quotes Nels Frederick Solomon Ferré on the subject of death from his book Evil and the Christian Faith.

I Sat Where They Sat Sermon Outline

This sermon draft of Dr. King's was never delivered, but focuses on the Christian themes of empathy and understanding. Dr. King claims that "if the white man was closer to the Negro he would... ...understand them" better.

MLK Draft Notes: Worship

Dr. King preached this sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist church on August 7, 1955. In this handwritten outline, Dr. King focuses on the practice of worship, claiming that it is an intrinsic part of human culture. After outlining a negative definition of worship, he approaches it from a "positive angle," describing a multitude of experiences he deems worshipful. Ultimately, he asserts that worship is useful on both a private and public level as it "helps us to transcend the hurly-burly of everyday life."

"Discerning the Signs of History"

Sunday, November 15, 1964

Dr. King believes that there are lessons in understanding the process of history, that evil carries the seed of destruction and that militarism is ultimately suicidal. Dr. King states that "history teaches the lesson that all reality hinges on moral foundations."

What Shall We Do to Be Saved

This is an outline for a sermon given by Dr. King, entitled, "What Shall We Do To Be Saved?" It includes an intended introduction. The date and location for which this sermon was delivered is unknown.

Loving Your Enemies

Sunday, November 10, 1957

In this sermon, Dr. King states that "love is the key to the solution of the problems which we confront in the world today." Dr. King notes that this is not a simple task, but it is necessary.

Manichaeism

Dr. King describes Manichaeism, a religion and philosophical doctrine that originated in Persia.

Three Dimensions of a Complete Life

This sermon is one draft of Dr. King's "Three Dimensions of a Complete Life." It was first delivered by Dr. King to the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
Another version is entitled, "The Dimensions of a Complete Life." The first dimension is concerned with the well-being of the self. The second dimension is concerned with the well-being of others. The last dimension is concerned with reaching towards God.
As Dr. King implies, if all of these dimensions are equal, then a complete life will be obtained.

The Birth of a New Nation

Dr. King compares the ongoing civil rights struggle in the United States to the Hebrews' Exodus from Egypt.