Sep 22, 2010

Challenges in Preaching Numbers

Readers of this blog know that I am deeply committed to preaching and teaching both Testaments. But preaching the Old Testament in general and certain books in particular is not without its challenges. Part of the challenge is not the book or the sermon, but the hearers. I think that Bechtel's remark is pretty accurate observation.

“For many people in the pew, hearing a passage from Numbers read is a little like tuning in on the fourth night of a two-week television mini-series. A few might listen patiently for a while, trying to keep the characters straight and straining to get a sense of the plot. Most, however, will abandon the effort, making a mental trip to the kitchen for a snack, figuring that they will be back in time for the New Testament lesson. For those who do stay glued to their set, the content may strike them as being unsuitable for twentieth century Christian viewers. What could a loose conglomeration of laws, census reports, and travelogues have to do with us, after all?”

Carol Bechtel Reynolds, “Life After Grace: Preaching from the book of Numbers,” Interpretation 51:1: 269.


Stephen Young said...

There are some real gems in that book though. The snake lifted up in the desert is one.

Charles Savelle said...