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A Knock At Midnight: Great Sermons of Martin Luther King: Great Sermons of Martin Luther King Jr. [Paperback]

Martin Luther King Jr , Peter Holloran
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 April 2000

Before I was a civil rights leader, I was a preacher of the gospel. This was my first calling and it still remains my greatest commitment.'

Before Martin Luther King Jr. shared his dream with the nation and the world, he was preaching it from the pulpit of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. Known throughout the world as a leader and a visionary in the civil rights movement, Reverend King Jr. was first and foremost a preacher.

With fiery words of hope, wisdom, and a passion for justice that resonate as much today as they did years ago, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., stirred the deepest convictions of listeners everywhere, inspiring them to extraordinary acts of courage and perseverance that ignited one of the most influential moments of the twentieth century.

A KNOCK AT MIDNIGHT is the definitive collection of eleven of Dr. King's most powerful and spiritual sermons. These sermons are each introduced by a distinguished member of today's spiritual community, including Reverend Billy Graham and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New Ed edition (6 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349112010
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349112015
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.6 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,352,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Amazon Review

These 11 historic sermons make plain why Martin Luther King Jr. considered his "first calling and greatest commitment" to be a preacher of the gospel. As an orator he is second to none. Using insights from psychology, philosophy, and the Bible, he appeals to the heads as well as the hearts of his congregations, explaining that personal and social change can only be effected by adopting a morality of love in service of God and humankind. While King's concern for social justice is a common theme throughout, each sermon is a jewel of literary artistry, as it presents a simple problem, examines its complications, and offers a startling and often challenging resolution. Topics range from "Rediscovering Lost Values," a caution that scientific progress without moral progress can result only in a step backward for humanity, to "An American Dream," a wake-up call to the "self-evident truth" of equality proclaimed in the Constitution.

Brief introductions to the sermons from spiritual leaders and friends, including Dr. Joan Campbell, Billy Graham, Dr. Robert Franklin, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, offer personal insights into King's life, work and legacy. These are masterpieces of theological literature from one of the world's great orators, who Robert Franklin rightly says may well be "the greatest religious intellectual of the 20th century." --Ali Perry-Gallagher

Review

It is almost as if he were preaching this sermon for us today, for it is as apt today as it ever was nearly thirty years ago. Spiritual truth...is always relevant (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

The vision, the dream of Dr. King was for eternity...We honour Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by responding to the words of this preacher: avoiding the foolish, lifting our eyes, as he challenges us to do (Reverend Billy Graham)

These 11 historic sermons make plain why Martin Luther King Jr considered his "first calling and greatest commitment" to be a preacher of the gospel. As an orator he is second to none. Using insights from psychology, philosophy and the Bible, he appeals to the heads as well as the hearts of his congregations, explaining that personal and social change can only be effected by adopting a morality of love in service of God and humankind. While King's concern for social justice is a common theme throughout, each sermon is a jewel of literary artistry, as it presents a simple problem, examines its complications and offers a startling and often challenging resolution. Topics range from "Rediscovering Lost Values", a caution that scientific progress without moral progress can result only in a step backward for humanity, to "An American Dream", a wake-up call to the "self-evident truth" of equality proclaimed in the Constitution. (Brief introductions to the sermons from spiritual leaders and friends, including Dr Joan Campbell, Billy Graham, Dr Robert Franklin and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, offer personal insights into King's life, work and legacy. These are masterpieces of theologic)

AMAZON.CO.UK REVIEW

. . . arguably the greatest public speaker of our time, King could lead his audiences through complex and profound thought processes ... he turned politics into an aspect of the American sublime (SUNDAY TIMES)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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This sermon by Martin Luther King, Jr., is very early King, is pre-Montgomery King. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
A fabulous collection of soul-stirring preaching by one of this century's finest preachers. Many people know King as a great political leader, fiery orator, and creative organizer. This collection of sermons will convince the world that King was first and foremost an anointed preacher. His sermons ring with authenticity and resound with relevancy. Kings messages speak profoundly to our troubled times and offer both prophetic insight and divine guidance as we attempt to find our way into the next millinium. This collection of sermons, with their superb introductions and commentaries, is perhaps one of the finest efforts of its kind. It will certainly be a source of pleasure and insight for generations to come.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful collection 24 Nov 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Dr. King's lectures in this tome cover a range of 14 years and a variety of themes. They are all interesting, intelligent and of a convincing, sincere moral nature. The selections have certainly been well-done, as each speech is marvelous. This book gives you a feel for the thought of King and why he was so idolized (and feared by those who disliked morality, equality or favored ruthless laissez-faire economics).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
It is ironic that throughtout the centuries God is proclaimed most fervently and eloquently by the unassuming, the low, and the hated. It is a pattern that was set with Christ, a simple carpenter. The sermons have a piercing quality, like a sword. They have a profound sensitivity to the clamor of the soul and a tremendous desire or persistance to simply be. MLKj exemplefied what Paul Tillich said, "the courage to be" a servant of God. A book for all, a must read...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Relevance Beyod History 22 Nov 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
If ever there was a work that fit the audio book platform, it is A Knock at Midnight. Compiled from recordings made of Dr. Martin Luther King sermons, this six-tape set covers the period from 1954 until shortly before the celebrated civil rights leader's death. Dr. Claybourne Carson and Peter Holloran amassed the eleven sermons contained on the tapes from various sources. Each is introduced by a well-known theologian. Among the contributors were Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Bishop T.D. Jakes, and Father Theodore Hesburgh.
The introductions are eloquent, but the attraction here is Dr. King's voice and words. Often relegated to historical text and seen only in familiar sound clips, the audio book offers a deeper look at the ministerial King. It is a chance to listen to King preach from pre-Montgomery until days before his death, to trace the powerful events that shaped his life and ministry. It is an opportunity to explore the theological roots and depth of knowledge that forged one of the twentieth century's most influential leaders.
Of the three sermons presented from before 1960, perhaps the most intriguing is Paul's letter to American Christians, delivered in Montgomery, Alabama on November 4, 1956. Using the imaginative premise of a letter from the Apostle Paul to Americans, Dr. King calls for Americans to match the pace of technological change with similar advances in moral change. His vast command of the communicative process is already evident. He refuses to bend morally on issues he sees as divisive to the church and society. The social issues of poverty and race relations that marked his life are prominent. The man who two years earlier described himself as "a young man with most of my life ahead of me" is already aware that the stands he has taken may one day take his life.
Throughout the years core beliefs expressed in early sermons remain prominent. The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life and Why Jesus Called a Man A Fool (both delivered in 1967) point toward understanding the most important things in life and what the true meaning of success is. Dr. King's readings in psychology and sociology are used to illustrate theological points. His personal adversity and struggles with the backlash his message brought forth are employed in Three Dimensions of a Complete Life as examples of how to find strength in the midst of the most trying times. The King that emerges from these sermons is a man with strong moral values who continually refused to take the easy route when conflict arose between his religious beliefs and the world he lived in.
The Drum Major Instinct and Unfulfilled Dreams (1968) find Dr. King looking at himself critically and discussing how he would like to be remembered in the framework of man's search for recognition and his understanding of his own worth.
The tape set closes with a sermon delivered less than a week before Dr. King's death. Entitled Remaining Awake through A Great Revolution and recorded at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., it is a call for people to acknowledge the problems and injustice around them. Dr. King's voice is tired, and as he touches on familiar themes of racial and economic injustice, one can hear the weariness in his voice. In many ways, however, it is the most powerful of the sermons. The gifted orator evident at the Second Baptist Church in 1954 has developed into a national leader. His voice is haunting as he nears his close with words heard in other sermons, but never with as much impact.
"We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. We shall overcome because Carlyle is right: "No lie can live forever." We shall overcome because William Cullen Bryant is right: "Truth, crushed to earth, will rise again." We shall overcome because James Russell Lowell is right: As we were singing today,
Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne. Yet that scaffold sways the future. And behind the dim unknown stands God, Within the shadow keeping watch above his own.
With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair the stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood."
In the end, thirty years after his death, Dr. King's voice has relevance beyond history, and A Knock at Midnight brings together ample evidence in support of this conclusion.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I could give this EXPERIENCE 10 stars! 4 May 2000
By Book-a-holic - Published on Amazon.com
Notice I refer to the cassettes and the companion book as an EXPERIENCE as I both listened to and read the REVEREND King! Although the media focused on the visible part of his ministry, the civil rights movement, his sermons are profound and awesome in their implications for today as well as their in their powerful delivery during the mid-1950's through 1960's. Although I will cherish both the cassette series and the book, it is through hearing the SPEAKING of Dr. King that really made me breathless! Thank you LORD God for sending us your messenger Dr. King to give us a wonderful earthly ministry for a brilliant and brief time (much like Jesus Christ). Simply awesome!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Profound Message 21 July 2002
By david harris - Published on Amazon.com
The sermons in A Knock at Midnight are both deeply moving and a powerful reminder of the greatness of Dr. King. This collection should be read and heard by everyone, especially the young of today who have been fed a Dr. King who somehow only delivered one speech ("I Have a Dream"). As a middle school teacher I found the sermons to be an excellent way for my students to move beyond the platitudes about Dr. King to a much deeper understanding of his life and ministry. To read and listen to these great sermons is an absolutely wonderful experience, but at the same time a sad reminder that today we have no great voice of moral authority like his. Fortunately we do have his words and voice preserved for us and our children.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous collection of soul-stirring preaching. 23 Mar 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
A fabulous collection of soul-stirring preaching by one of this century's finest preachers. Many people know King as a great political leader, fiery orator, and creative organizer. This collection of sermons will convince the world that King was first and foremost an anointed preacher. His sermons ring with authenticity and resound with relevancy. Kings messages speak profoundly to our troubled times and offer both prophetic insight and divine guidance as we attempt to find our way into the next millinium. This collection of sermons, with their superb introductions and commentaries, is perhaps one of the finest efforts of its kind. It will certainly be a source of pleasure and insight for generations to come.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Answering the World!!!!! 18 Jan 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
A Knock At Midnight is frightfully prophetic,subperbly truthful and dynamically inspiring.It shows what the great mind of King brings and brought to the forefront while he was living and while he continues to live in our hearts.These sermons are chillingly lifelike as if King speaks directly to your heart and mind---NOW! It is truly a must read! The sermon A Knock at Midnight delivers the powerful and sensitive message concerning where the Church has to take the people as far as their needs are concerned and it deals with the advocacy of having to open the door to the truly oppressed and needy.It is a thought provoking theme set against the veil of modern times.There is a a Knock At Midnight and it is now answering the world.
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