COMMUNICATING THE TRUTHS
BORNE BY OLD TESTAMENT NARRATIVE ART
The purpose of this book is to provide thoughtful reflection on the literature of the Old Testament that may lead to more effective preaching on a biblical text and involve intentionally the hearer in the preaching event. A deliberate attempt is made to place hearer, preacher, biblical scholar, theologian, biblical writers/redactors, et al., into a general scheme of continuous storytelling, retelling, reinterpretation and reapplication of biblical truth. Although cyclical and repetitive in practice, this format offers an understanding of Judeo-Christian human development in general and of Western literary development in particular, which is continuous and linearly progressive.
For three decades, through continuous research, study, discussion with peers and professors, and the long process of refining and focusing conclusions and reflections through pulpit experimentation, I have been able to discover for myself many interesting ways to approach a biblical text for the purpose of preaching. This book continues the development of my preaching process, which I have always found to be rewarding. Its purpose is to share my life-long journey and personal discovery and to demonstrate how preachers can have a continually new awareness of their preaching styles through self-evaluation.
The literary/narrative critical method that I have summarized at the conclusion of chapter five, summarizes my areas of interest in sermon preparation and delivery, and can be used as a method for critiquing sermons. Nine sermons are included, and each treats the text differently. The intended result is to help preachers evaluate their own preaching style and effectiveness, thus providing a tool for preachers who share strong interests in the literature of the Bible and who wish to explore, in new ways, the countless opportunities for imaginative and inspirational preaching.
I have discovered, week after week, year after year, that my preaching is most interesting to others when it is interesting to me. Thus, my preaching and sermon writing methods have always needed to be methods that inspire and lead me, thereby increasing not only the possibility for spreading a genuine interest in the ministry of the Word through words, but also through an attitude and a personality and a spirit that may reflect the intent of the truths borne by biblical narrative art.
The investigation into the communication of truths borne by Old Testament literature in general and in Old Testament narrative art in particular, provides a conscious effort to produce thoughtful reflection on biblical literary forms. My hope is that this process will prove to be a valuable tool for preachers who value the importance of constant self-evaluation.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter I. THE PREACHER AS READER AND REINTERPRETER
Chapter II. STORYTELLING AND NARRATIVE IN DIALOGUE
Chapter III. NARRATIVE IN PREACHING
Chapter IV. THEOLOGY AND NARRATIVE
Chapter V. THE USE OF NARRATIVE ART IN PREACHING
Chapter VI. PROPOSALS FOR THE FUTURE
Chapter VII. NINE SERMONS