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Saying what God said how he said it

Kerry McGonigal makes a very good point that is true not only for preaching, but also for all forms of communicating biblical truth. A snippet:

As expository preachers we may be passionately committed to saying what God said. And well we should. But are we also committed to saying what God said in a way that is consistent with why and how He said it?

Read the whole thing: Rhetorical Goals and Strategies: The Why and How of Preaching | Preaching & Preachers.

Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

2 Responses to Saying what God said how he said it

  1. I was just thinking about this sort of thing yesterday. I was in a q&a on “preachers and preaching” with Alastair Begg, and I thought about asking something like this:

    “The Bible’s message is timeless (although it is also quite historically rooted), but the audiences it reaches are not. Given those two assertions, how closely should we, and how closely do you, seek to let the rhetoric of Scripture (both large-scale and small-scale) shape the preaching of the word?” I didn’t end up asking the question, but it’s been on my mind.

    Humans are humans, and there are doubtless many rhetorical strategies that are going to “work” in any era or culture. But do you think that in language, there are certain tricks of speech that are rhetorically effective now that weren’t a couple of hundred years ago, and likely won’t be in another couple hundred years?

  2. Hey, Chuck. I’m not sure I know the answer to that question, but my biggest concern is that when we talk about the “timeless message of Scripture,” that is always going to be couched in cultural packaging. In other words, it is impossible to express a “timeless message” without using a cultural vehicle.

    So to say that we simply extract the timeless massage and re-contextualize it into our current cultural situation is a bit simplistic. I would argue that in addition to grammatical/historical study, we need cultural study, and that this is just as informative and, in some ways, authoritative for us as the so-called “timeless message.”

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