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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.

A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart

Dr. King uses Matthew 10:16 as the text for this sermon delivered August 30, 1959 at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery. Soft mindedness, he asserts, makes men gullible, superstitious, and fearful of change and fosters the belief that science and religion are in conflict. It contributes to racial prejudice and is capitalized upon by dictators. But tough mindedness, King says, must be tempered by a compassionate heart. The nonviolent struggle for freedom and justice must combine tough mindedness and tenderness of heart.

Outline for Why Does History Move?

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

MLK Draft: Man's Extensions

Dr. King describes how man has invented tools to extend his knowledge: the telescope for his eyes, the microphone and radio for his ears, and the airplane and automobile for his legs.

Three Dimensions of a Complete Life

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Dr. King discusses the primary three dimensions of life, which include: length, breadth, and height.

Sunday, April 9, 1967

The Danger of Misguided Goodness

Under the title, "The Danger of Misguided Goodness," the central message in these sermon notes is the need for all individuals to be morally conscientious.

Making the Best of A Bad Mess

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This text of Dr. King's "Making the Best of a Bad Mess" sermon encourages the congregation at Ebenezer Baptist Church to remain faithful in times of destitution. He makes clear the point that happiness is not found, but is instead created.

Sunday, April 24, 1966

God is Light

Dr. King prepares a sermon entitled, "God is Light." He refers to I John 1:5 during his preparation.

Soul

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

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.

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.

Sacrifice

Dr. King explains that Isaiah 1:11 means God can’t be appeased by sacrifice but demands righteous living.

Schleiermacher (The Religious Man)

Dr. King quotes Schleiermacher's views on man's identification with Religion.

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.

What is Man?

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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.

Sunday, January 12, 1958

Cooperative/Noble Competition

Dr. King writes a sermon on the topic "Cooperative Competition." King utilizes the biblical text deriving from Luke chapter 22 verse 24, which expresses how Jesus views competition. According to the text, Jesus thinks that competition is good as long as an individual competes with humility and serving others.

Nature of Religion

Dr. King indicates Schleiermacher's view on the nature of religion.

Transition Period

Dr. King quotes an unknown source that links the transition period to Alfred North Whitehead’s rejection of his earlier view about science and philosophy.

Standing By The Best in an Evil Time" E

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In this sermon, Dr. King addresses the evil in the world and suggest to his congregation that they counter this by being strong and steadfast in the Lord. Dr. King also touches on the current issues in society and how to continue the use of nonviolence as means to for peace and social justice.

Sunday, August 6, 1967

Loving Your Enemies

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Dr. King interprets Jesus' command to "love your enemies" and outlines how to accomplish this goal. He closes this sermon by relating the philosophy of love to the use of nonviolence as a means to overcome oppression.

Sunday, November 17, 1957

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.

B. Clifton Reardon Recap of William Temple

This is an essay written by B. Clifton Reardon on William Temple, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Temple was one of the founding members of the Council of Christians and Jews.

The False God of Money

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This sermon titled "The False God of Money" was preached by Dr. King on July 19, 1953. Dr. King raised a question to his congregation stating, "Will you serve the transitory god of money which is here today and gone tomorrow or will you serve the eternal God of the universe who is the same yesterday, today and forever?"

Sunday, July 19, 1953

Old Bull, The Great Violinist

Dr. King relates the mishap of a great violinist, during a concert, to the general act of overcoming obstacles in life.

Beyond Condemnation

Dr. King outlines a sermon entitled "Beyond Condemnation." He references the biblical story about a woman condemned to death by the Pharisees for adultery. Jesus commands "the person without sin to cast the first stone" as a lesson that all sins are equal and that no one should judge the flaws of others.

Making the Best of a Bad Mess

In this sermon, Dr. King discusses the letter Paul sent to Titus while he was in Crete. According to the letter, Crete was a terrible place for Christians, and Titus may have been confused as to why he was left there. Paul wrote to him saying that he left him there to make the situation better for the other people there. That is how one makes the best out of a bad mess.

Answer to a Perplexing Question

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Dr. King preaches about faith, based on Matthew 17:14-20, and applies it to the Civil Rights Movement. He defines faith as cooperating with God by surrendering to God's will so that His strength may act freely through us. He asserts that faith, intellect, and work must blend together.

Sunday, March 3, 1963

Dr. King Sermon Outline - "Moral Absolutism"

Dr. King drafted this handwritten outline entitled "Moral Absolutism." The focus is on judgement and its relation to both good and evil.

MLK Note Card - Schleiermacher, Theology and God-consciousness

The person to whom Dr. King is referring is the German philosopher Friedrich Schleiermacher.

Outline of Sincerity Is Not Enough

This partial sermon outline in Dr. King's handwriting focuses on the subject "Sincerity Is Not Enough", based on the text Romans 10:2.

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