The Freedom to Be Wrong provides exemplary model sermons for gospel texts in the last third of the Pentecost season (Sundays in Ordinary Time). Rueter shows himself to be a skilled wordsmith as well as a careful exegete in messages based on such familiar Lucan pericopes as:
- Cleansing ten lepers
- The persistent claiment and the unrighteous judge
- The Pharisee and the Publican who prayed at the Temple
- Zacchaeus' change of life
and nine more. Good sermons books have two useful functions. They suggest new ways to state the main themes of biblical texts. In doing so, they stimulate one's own creative capacities. Second, they provide helpful illustrations for the text's themes. Pastor Alvin Rueter has produced a book that serves those purposes well. The sermons follow the pericopes for the last third of the church year. The style is terse, colorful, and understandable. The illustrative material always serves the text. The scriptural word is that which reaches the reader/hearer. Rueter is an excellent preacher. Readers will profit from his sermons. I am glad he has gone to the hard work of preparing them for print.
David W. Preus
The American Lutheran Church Alvin C. Rueter is an ordained pastor in the American Lutheran Church. He served parishes in Monterey Park and Inglewood, California; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Saint Paul, Minnesota. He has served as a part-time instructor in preaching at Luther-Northwestern Theological Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota; conducts preaching workshops for parish clergy; and is the producer of Lector Audio Cassettes, a series helping lay scripture readers present the Sunday morning readings with understanding and effectiveness. A Ph.D. candidate in Speech/Communication at the University of Minnesota, he is completing research in the area of "Persuasion of the Hostile Audience." Since 1955 he has hosted a popular sacred choral music radio program, known as "Sing for Joy" and heard on 200 stations every week.