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4 Stars Out Of 5
Good read on narrative preaching and how it relates to North American culture!
December 8, 2016
contemporary books that are written to a slightly lower reading level. However, at times, in some portions of the book, I had to slow down due to really wanting to contemplate what the author was conveying. I mean that in a good way - I was challenged to really evaluate how we view scripture from our North American culture and its ingrained individualism that really is contrary to Scripture. I have seen a few other comments about this book and how it could have been written in simpler terms, and they are probably correct. But then again, this is more of a seminary or academic level book. It seems that one of the major points that the author is trying to convey is how we need to pull away from the cultural norm where narrative preaching has to end up in that "happy ending" position, but rather immerse us into the narrative within the Bible so we can be transformed. If you are looking for a book on narrative preaching, this would be a good read for you. I received a copy of this book in exchange for this review from IVP and all opinions are my own.
The question of the book becomes: How do you move as a church from being therapy to individuals, but translate peoples lives into the biblical narrative to portray and live apart of the body of Christ? This book becomes more than a how-to of preaching, it becomes a life-changing calling for preachers to move their congregations into partakers of the biblical narrative. The movement starts by moving towards a tragedy, the tragedy of the cross. Tragedy brings enlightenment, understanding, a new narrative. Is that not what the cross accomplished? A brighter hope, a new horizon, and a new narrative to the lives of those partaking in it? I truly appreciate the fact that the author does go beyond providing the typical three-step solution, as he gives a whole chapters worth of hands-on teaching examples of how to turn your congregation toward a worldview that does not separate them from culture, but allows them to be visible witnesses through their newfound ability to have a worldview that is considered peculiar. In a strange way, this moves the congregation into the status-quo, allowing for their narrative to lie outside the lies they are fed everyday. As I finished the book, I began to see the point. The biblical narrative is not a how-to negotiate the so-called secular divide of personal life, or even how to live a cushy life. The biblical narrative is an awakening to become one of Gods elect, to witness his love, as a partaker of Gods creation and as a witness that may require an element of suffering. For me, this quote sums up the key focus of Wrights book:I strongly recommend this book to anyone that does any form of teaching within the church. It gives a great formative history of the decline of teaching within the church, but it also provides examples that can help turn a congregation into strong witnesses of Christs work. It may be heavy, but the rewards and resulting call to Gods story are well worth it.