Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Task of Preaching

I started a DMin program this year and am reading through a plethora of books on preaching.  Most are not the types of preaching books I would be drawn to or naturally read so it is an exercise in discipline to read them at times.  I am learning though, especially to slow down in my own preparation and using my imagination to think through the text rather than just exercising the left side of my brain.  Here is another great quote by Thomas long in the book, Preaching and the Literary Forms of the Bible.  It illustrates the power of metaphors and illustrations to communicate truth.  
The biblical text is like a stone tossed into a pond.  Its immediate impact is felt where is falls - the historical situation into which it originally landed - but this impact creates ripples which flow in time across the surface.  As the ripples move away from the center in ever-expanding circles, their motion is impelled by the original event of the text, but their shape is altered as they strike objects in the water and blend with other waves.  The task of preaching is not merely to recover the text's original breaking of the surface but to express what happens when one of the ripples sent forth by that text crosses our spot in the pond.    

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