Other Voices: The Power of Story and Image


The Sower, by Vincent Van Gogh

It is so powerful and affirming to find others out there in the world seeking earnestly to be servants of Christ who come to discover the same powerful doorway(s) to his activity and presence, especially in ones work as a servant in his ‘church’.  One thing we will always hope to do on this community blog is to draw attention to books, people, articles, blogs, cultural happenings that have created such doorways for us or where we find particularly beautiful examples of wonderful work in service to the True, the Beautiful and the Good. I am particularly excited to see the (re)discovery of story, imagery and narrative in its role of creating doorways for the soul to Christ.  See the book, Giving Bloodby Leonard Sweet.  There is a wonderful little interview with him on Frank Viola’s blog, “Beyond Evangelical“.  Here he shares the following:

Give us two or three insights from the book that would be helpful to all Christians. 

Leonard Sweet:  1) Image exegesis seeks to exegete the narraphors (metaphorical narratives) of scripture, not the words. This is consistent with the Hebrew art of scriptural exegesis, and with Jesus= method of teaching in parables or narraphors. 2) Preaching should be EPIC (experiential, participatory, image-rich, connective). EPIC preaching is like field preaching. It allows everyone on the mission field. 3) Preaching should  be transincarnational – facilitating a conversion experience in which people connect personally with Jesus Christ and undergo an incarnational change in mind, body, and spirit (preaching is not about the preacher).

I hope this only spreads!  This is the basic focus and training orientation, with slight variations, of course, that we receive in the seminaries of The Christian Community.  What is added, in addition, is development of the capacity to experience the entire world of nature as parable.  In this way, one becomes able to experience and articulate the Logos speaking in everything around us and open the “gospel” of nature…


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