Monday, April 18, 2005

Preaching as art

Mike Cope discusses his change in approach to preaching. Mike used to look at preaching as a science that treats the biblical text as a lab speciment to be dissected, with applications pulled forth:

NOW I THINK of preaching more as art. The goal isn't to make points but to arrive at a point (destination). The message, like Christian discipleship itself, is a journey -- informed by the text, shaped by the text. Instead of seeing myself as the one who explains the Bible to everyone, I see myself as a leader in the journey who escorts people into the messy, marvelous, unbelievable, life-altering world of scripture.

In some ways, it's harder. (The exegetical and hermeneutical work still has to be done on the front end!) But it seems to correspond more to scripture, for the Bible doesn't often come in nifty little sections of points. It immerses us into a world shaped by the work of God in human lives. It is Jesus-formed.

The preaching that reaches deep inside me and rattles my bones is not usually very easy to outline--though that certainly doesn't mean it isn't carefully crafted. Often, it has seemed to me, the other kind of preaching tends to turn people into Bible Wonks who study scripture a lot but don't catch the overarching themes of scripture. In their search for "answers," they wind up with a reduced world.
It's good to see Mike's emphasis on "the overarching themes of scripture." One value of studying the whole Bible is finding the broad themes we miss if our focus is strictly on mining nuggets of "application" from a text. No matter how experienced we may be with the text, God's Word continues to surprise and change us if we're willing to submit to his working in our hearts.


Blogger Peter Bogert said...

Thanks, Milton. Good link.

Hope you had a good day yesterday!


11:20 AM, April 18, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for the kind words, Peter. Hope you had a good yesterday, too!

11:46 AM, April 18, 2005  
Blogger John Schroeder said...

I love that phrase "preaching that reaches deep inside me and rattles my bones." Posted on this here

God Bless Milt!

8:15 AM, April 19, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

I liked that line too, John. And thanks for interacting with this post at Blogotional.

8:30 AM, April 19, 2005  

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