Monday, January 5, 2015

Finshed - "Reading for Preaching" by Cornelius Plantinga Jr.

I have to admit there was a bit of uneasiness alternating with sheer delight in reading this book. The uneasiness comes perhaps from my own bias. As the author says "My outlook contains all my own shortsightedness, bias, bigotry. To have a shot at integrity, empathy, and understanding I need good writers to disturb my biases, to lengthen and widen my worldview, to challenge my bigotries." The scriptures along with the work of the Holy Spirit, does this work of uprooting my bigotry better than anything else. My uneasiness was that any bias I have needs to find priority in the Word. I wish the author had said more about this and about the literary value of the Bible itself. But then again, his argument was meant to get us to read literature for better preaching and connection with our audience. And I think he has done that well.

I found very instructive his many illustrations of the human condition from literature. Ruth Moore (whom he did not mentioned) helped me realize what might be going on in a persons mind that explained odd behavior and maybe even excused it.

I remain unconvinced of the necessity of reading to do good preaching, but I am convinced it can help. 

Now off to read some of the books suggested on the Selected Reading List at the end of the book...