Four Codes, Four Codes of Preaching, John McClure, Mashup Religion, Multi-track sermon, multitrack, sermon, sermon organization, sermon preparation
In my book The Four Codes of Preaching: Rhetorical Strategies I identify the sermon as a unique composition (oral, written, etc.) that includes four “codes” or expected elements of communication. These are:
(1) a “scriptural code” (people expect to hear some interaction with the world expressed in the Bible)
(2) a “semantic code” (people expect to hear a preacher organize and generate messages or “meaning”)
(3) a “theosymbolic code” (people expect to hear the preacher place them within a theological narrative or universe)
(4) a “cultural code” (people expect to hear the preacher connect with their experience and culture).
I adopt the language of “sequencing” a sermon from the world of music-making and music recording where digital audio workstations (DAWs) and midi “sequencers” rule the day.
In chapter three of my book Mashup Religion: Pop Music and Theological Invention, I boil down much of what is said in The Four Codes of Preaching. In that chapter I speak about “the multi-track sermon,” and encourage preachers to think of the four codes of preaching as if they were tracks of audio recorded into a digital sequencer (DAW). In other words, sermons might be said to have four “tracks” (the codes) that are sequenced together to create a sermon. This is actually a very simple analogy and can be very helpful for preachers who are wanting to get a handle on sermon organization better.
I created a couple of short YouTube videos to demonstrate how this works, and revised these videos recently. If you are interested, here are links to both of these short videos. Enjoy!
Welcome back! I look forward to seeing your revisions…what sparked them?
John McClure said:
Nice to hear from you and I hope you are well! The revisions are mostly a quality upgrade. I first created this video for classroom use about 9 years ago, when YouTube was not accepting HD quality video. So I found the old video and upgraded it on YouTube to HD. It looks much better now I think.
Joan Dayton said:
Hi, John. I’ve been looking at (which is more honest than saying “I’m reading and understand”) your new material on my phone. I applaud your creativity and mental acuity which leaves mine in the dust. (The other thing I do not understand is my what I’m now trying to write moves along instead of staying in one place.). Anyway you’ll know I’m thinking of you. 💕Joan
Sent from my iPhone
Don Davies said:
Clearly you can see that sermons are really intricate and well thought of pieces of prose that carry God’s messages. Our black preacher, Keion Henderson, https://www.keionhenderson.com/about-us/ is one of those great orators and speakers who have the talent to really make beautiful sermons that people listen to. May God continue to inspire our church leaders to help them spread great messages of salvation!