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"Sermons"

"A Knock At Midnight"

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.

"Discerning the Signs of History"

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."

"Lost Sheep" or "The God of the Lost"

Dr. King delivers a sermon about the parable of the lost sheep from the book of Luke. In this sermon, Dr. King poses the question that has pondered mankind for ages, "What is God Like?" He declares, "God is like a good shepherd" caring for his sheep. Dr. King commends the good done in America, but compares the nation to "a lost sheep" for failing to maintain equality for all men. He summarizes by describing good as a process, that everyone is significant and God is seeking to find the lost.

"The Drum Major Instinct" Ebenezer Baptist Church

The Drum Major Instinct, a sermon delivered by Dr. King at the Atlanta Ebenezer Baptist Church, frames the “instinct” as being responsible for the social ills of the world. Dr. King proclaims that racial inequality in America and the war in Vietnam are the result of nations engaging in a “bitter colossal contest for supremacy.” He suggests that the only way to end this “suicidal thrust” is to abide by an altered definition of the instinct – the definition of Jesus Christ.

A Christian Movement in a Revolutionary Age

In this address, Dr. King fuses the philosophies in the Old and New Testament regarding revolutionary social change. He argues that the most creative and constructive revolutionary force for change is one that combines the Old Testament’s “righteousness and justice that flow down like a mighty stream” with the New Testament’s call to love one’s enemies and bless those who persecute you. He asserts that God has been working actively since the time of Moses for the freedom and perfection of people and society. Dr.

A Christmas Sermon

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.

A Knock at Midnight

Dr. King wrote this sermon for the Youth Sunday Services of the Women's Convention Auxiliary National Baptist Convention in Chicago on September 14, 1958. The sermon builds off of a biblical passage from Luke in which a friend visits a neighbor at midnight for three loaves of bread. Correlating the story to the modern world, Dr.

A Knock At Midnight

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 Religion of Doing

Dr. King delivered this sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church on July 4, 1954. In the sermon, Dr. King asserts the importance of active religion over passive theoretical practice. Citing the Book of Matthew, he maintains that belief and action must be united, as action is the crux of true religion. He proclaims that the church has to be a passage of the "dynamic force" that encourages action of its members.

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.

A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart

"A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart" by Dr. King discusses the importance of creating a synthesis of opposites and characteristics of one engaged in shrewd thinking with a loving spirit.

A Tough Mind and A Tender Heart

This outline to Dr. King's sermon "A Tough Mind and a Tender Heart" focuses on the premise that being a tough minded individual involves making critical decisions. The sermon emphasizes that those who possess a soft mind tend to be gullible and strictly follow the status quo. According to Dr. King, "We must come to the realization that life demands a tough mind."

A Tough Mind and A Tender Heart

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.

Answer to a Perplexing Question

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.

Antidotes For Fear

Dr. King uses this sermon to discuss the causation of human fears while identifying four ways in which these shortcomings can be combated. He does not promote the eradication of all human fears, for some are essential to creation and innovation. However, Dr. King encourages the elimination of unfounded fears as a method to overcome adversities that are experienced in life.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Death

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

Discerning the Signs of History

Dr. King's sermon "Discerning the Signs of History" asserts "evil carries the seeds of its own destruction." King gives examples throughout history, such as slavery, colonialism, and the rise and fall of King Louis XVI.

Dr. King Outlines "If"

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

Dr. King Sermon Outline

"A Constructive Use of the Sense of Shame" is the title of this sermon outline, prepared by Dr. King. The parable of the 'Prodigal Son' is the chosen text for the sermon.

Dr. King Sermon Outline

The document, shown here, contains an outline for a sermon given by Dr. King. The sermon was entitled, "The Fellow Who Stayed at Home." According, to the outline, Dr. King breaks down two types of sin: Sins of Passion and Sins of Disposition.

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.

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."

Eulogy for Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Victims

This is Dr. King?s eulogy for three of the four young girls killed in the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. God gives man the right to exercise good and evil, King says, but God wills that everything will happen for the good ? that out of tragedy comes redemption. Martyred in the struggle for freedom, the girls have become symbols of the crusade and of the faith that sustains it. King speaks of forgiving those who murdered the girls and the need to transform the system, the way of life, and the philosophy that led to the bombing.

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.

Facing the Challenge of a New Life

Dr. King uses Greek Philosophy, the Christian conception of agape love, and the need for nonviolent resistance as a guideline of "Facing the Challenge of a New Life" in America. Throughout the sermon, he encourages African Americans to remain committed to the nonviolent principles of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the precepts of Christian living to facilitate the birth of a new way of life in an America dealing with violent conflicts over social conditions.

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.

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