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"Sermons"

We Would See Jesus

Sunday, May 7, 1967

Dr. King gives this sermon to a congregation at Ebenezer Baptist Church. He conveys a message of Christ's acceptance of all despite any person's wrong doings in the past. He also points out that Christ's work is exemplified through individual acts of kindness and helping others.

Soul

Dr. King quotes Ephesus of Heraclitus' thoughts on soul.

Humanism

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

The Eternal Significance of Christ

Dr. King outlines a sermon and references the Book of 2 Corinthians. The passage states "It is impossible to understand the significance of Christ without understanding the whole history of Biblical religion."

Who Are We?

Saturday, February 5, 1966

In this sermon Dr. King contemplates "who are we?" and "what is man?". He differentiates between the pessimistic attitudes of the materialistic understandings of man and the optimistic attitudes of humanistic definitions of man. King also states that man is neither all good nor all bad, but a combination. Man is both an everlasting miracle and mystery.

Faith As A Way of Knowing (Wieman)

Dr. King cites Henry Nelson Wieman's "The Source of Human Good" on faith as a way of knowing.

Predestination

Dr. King defines predestination.

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.

The Ultimate Doom of Evil

These sermon notes outline the inevitable fall of evil. Dr. King uses the work of influential American historian, Charles A. Beard to prove this claim. "A graphic example of this truth" is found in ancient proverbs that Dr. King aims to examine in detail.

Conditions for Entering the Kingdom

Dr. King opens these sermon notes by discussing a child's behavior and actions. According to King, "a child has the inexhaustible capacity to forgive" and is inquisitive, honest, and open-minded. These are characteristics that adults should possess, which would help them gain entry into the Kingdom.

Outline for The Secret of Adjustment

In this sermon, Dr. King notes applicable methods used to deal with the tensions in life. It is said that "the secret to adjustment is to find contentment." King further references the experience of the Apostle Paul and what he learned in confronting this problem.

New Wine in New Bottles

Dr. King outlines a sermon he preached at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery on October 17, 1954. His text is Matthew 9:17. He compares new ideas to new wine, stating that an idea cannot progress if people are not ready to accept it; this is what it means for an idea to be before its time. New ideas require new structures to contain them. The same is true in our personal lives when we resolve to rid ourselves of bad habits.

Excerpt from The Drum Major Instinct

This passage quotes one of Dr. King's acclaimed sermons delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He defines the desire to lead as "the Drum Major instinct." Seeing himself as a Drum Major for justice, peace, and righteousness, Dr. King posits what should be said at his funeral.

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.

MLK Sermon: Non-Conformist

Sunday, January 16, 1966

Dr. King delivers this sermon at Ebenezer Baptist church in Atlanta, Georgia. He references the statement Representative Julian Bond made regarding the Vietnam War and discusses the responsibility of Christians to be morally noble instead of socially respectable. He references multiple biblical figures and explains the importance of not conforming to society.

Note Cards on God

Dr. King's writes on the possibility of finding God from the First Book of Chronicles.

Sermon Notes: Christianity Explored

Dr. King discusses the various concepts of the religious body of Christianity. He specifically highlights the Christian perspective in relation to life, the Kingdom of God on Earth, and Jesus Christ.

The Ultimate Doom of Evil

Dr. King outlines a sermon entitled "The Ultimate Doom of Evil." The text is derived from a Biblical text, which states that one should not fret over evil doers because God is our vindicator.

The Dimensions of a Complete Life

Dr. King begins this sermon with the story of John's first sight of the holy city of Jerusalem. He uses the story to emphasize "an eternal truth which we must forever recognize, and that is that life at its best and life as it should be is the life that is complete on all sides." This famous sermon had been drafted several times and also takes up the name "Three Dimensions of A Complete Life."

God (Dewey)

According to Dr. King's understanding of Dewey's interpretation, God is the connection between the ideal and the actual.

What is Man?

Sunday, January 12, 1958

Citing views from historical and contemporary figures, Dr. King asserts that the definition of "man" lies somewhere between God and an animal. Dr. King contends that, although man is limited by time and space, humans are not animals, because they have the capacity for rational thought. However, the central theme that Dr. King argues is that humanity is inherently evil and must constantly strive for high moral standards.

MLK Sermon: Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam

Sunday, April 30, 1967

Dr. King gives a sermon on why he does not support the war in Vietnam.

Immaculate Conception

Dr. King reflects on the birth of Christ and the fact that Mary was "kept free from original sin."

A Knock At Midnight

Sunday, August 9, 1964

In a tape-recorded address to the Riverside Church in New York City, Dr. King compares the civil rights struggle to a parable from St. Luke. His sermon specifically tackles contemporary social issues such as segregation, discrimination, and the philosophy of nonviolence. In addition, Dr. King explores the role of the church in dealing with such problems.

A Tough Mind and A Tender Heart

Sunday, August 30, 1959

An early foreshadowing of his nonviolent philosophy, Dr. King advises Negroes of a particular course of action they should adhere to in order to properly equip themselves to combat racial injustice. Seeking to avoid both complacency and hostility, he challenges those who desire self-satisfaction, as well as those who seek to pacify their oppressors, by proposing the idea of one having both a tough mind and a tender heart.

Outline of The Distinctions In God's Creation

This outline of Dr. King's sermon entitled, "The Distinctions of God's Creation," references Thomas Aquinas. The document suggests focusing on the central message that God created all beings and features of nature, each with its own unique form and purpose.

Manichaeism

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

Symbolic Mountains

On the stationary of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York, Dr. King outlines a sermon entitled "Symbolic Mountains." These include the mountains of ethical relations, practical materialism, indifference concerning poverty, and racial segregation.

A Christmas Sermon

Sunday, December 24, 1967

Dr. King discusses the topics of peace, the state of mankind, and his vision for the future during the delivery of this sermon to the congregation of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

Interruptions: Man from Porlock

Sunday, January 21, 1968

Dr. King delivered this sermon, "Interruptions," on January 21, 1968 at Ebenezer Baptist Church. He describes how no one lives a life free of interruptions, and that the major problem of life is learning how to handle them.