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"Sermons"

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.

Secrets of Married Happiness

Dr. King writes notes regarding the way to a successful marriage. King asserts that in order to have a happy marriage, husband and wife must communicate and get to know one another's similarities and differences. It is also important to engage in mutual compromise.

Making the Best of A Bad Mess

Sunday, April 24, 1966

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.

Paul's Letter to American Christians

Dr. King writes an imaginary letter to modern day Christians from the perspective of the apostle Paul. In the letter, Paul praises his listeners for their technological advancements, yet reprimands them for their spiritual degradation. He encourages them to uphold Christian values despite outside factors.

Soul

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

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.

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.

The Significant Contributions of Jeremiah to Religious Thought

These handwritten notes appear to be a draft of the essay "The Significant Contributions of Jeremiah to Religious Thought." Dr. King wrote this for James Bennett Pritchard's class on the Old Testament at Crozer Theological Seminary. Circa September 14, 1948 - November 24, 1948. The actual essay is in the King Archive at Boston University's Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center.

MLK Sermon Outline

Dr. King prepares an Easter sermon entitled "Why Death Could Not Hold Him." He references scripture passage Acts 2: 24. The date and place of delivery for this sermon is unknown.

MLK Note Card - Schleiermacher, Theology and God-consciousness

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

Transformed Noncomformist

Friday, November 1, 1957

Dr. King delivered this sermon in November 1957 while serving as the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. In the sermon, Dr. King discusses the Christian dilemma of being "a citizen of two worlds: the world of time and the world of eternity." He situates the experience of black people in America within this dichotomy, and asserts that Christians must not conform to the world of mass opinion when it lacks Christian virtue, but must assume nonconformity.

The Birth of a New Nation

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

We Would See Jesus

Dr. King summarizes a biblical passage from the Book of John, in which he describes "inquiring Greeks" from a rich heritage who came to Philip and made the simple request, "sir, we would see Jesus." These words are also the title of one of Dr. King's sermons delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Remember Who You Are!

Thursday, December 6, 1956

Dr. King addresses the student body and officials of Howard University with a poignant sermon entitled, "Remember Who You Are." The content of the sermon makes various references between Jesus, Shakespeare and Greek philosophers who sought to identify the mechanisms that made man important to society.

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.

God

Dr. King describes the power of God.

Is It Wrong to Segregate?

Sunday, June 5, 1960

This Sermon titled "Is It Wrong to Segregate?" was delivered by the Reverend A. L. Kendrick on June 5, 1960. He expounds on several topics including equal rights, communism and the political element of the government.

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.

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.

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.

Guidelines for a Constructive Church

Sunday, June 5, 1966

In this sermon delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Dr. King spells out guidelines for the church: healing the broken-hearted, preaching deliverance to the captive (freeing people from everything that enslaves), and preaching the acceptable year of the Lord. The acceptable year of the Lord, he says, is every year the time is right to do right, stop lying and cheating, do justice, learn to live as brothers and beat swords into plowshares.

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.

Predestination

Dr. King defines predestination.

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.

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.

Death

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

Immaculate Conception

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

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.

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.

MLK Sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church

Sunday, January 16, 1966

As pastor of Ebenezer, Dr. King delivered this particular sermon to his congregation in January of 196. He begins by referencing representative-elect Julian Bond's statement against war and against America's involvement in Vietnam, and he commends Mr. Bond for being courageous enough to speak his mind. He uses quotes from historical figures and biblical passages to support his claim that humans should be men of conviction and not of conformity. Dr.