The Lost Authority of the Pulpit
Is the authority of the pulpit under a cloud in contemporary church life in America? Statistics are not available, and armchair indictments ought to be suspect. Yet evidence is not lacking that the Sunday sermon, still an institutionalized marvel of loyalty to tradition in our common life, occupies a place of less importance, in the eyes of both minister and people, than it did in the days of our fathers. One proof of the dwindling of its importance is fairly incontrovertible, namely, its comparative brevity when set alongside the sermon literature of previous generations.
– Theodore Wedel, Theology Today, p. 165.