Oct 22, 2021

The Purpose of Illustrations

In preparation for a class on preaching that I am teaching, I came across this helpful discussion of the purposes of sermon illustrations although, I think some of the points could be combined.

  1. Inform and instruct
  2. Explain and clarify
  3. Can help the preacher connect and identify and identify with his people
  4. An aid to memorization and recall
  5. Helps to capture and retain attention
  6. Motivate, persuade, and convince
  7. Allow for mental relaxation
  8. Help people see the immediate relevance of the biblical text for their lives
  9. Personalize and particularize the general/universal truths revealed in the Bible
  10. Make biblical truth believable
  11. Create interest
  12. Explain biblical doctrine and personal duty in an understandable and compelling way.

Daniel Akin, Bill Curtis, and Stephen Rummage, Engaging Exposition (Nashville B&H Academic, 2011), 199-200 (with some modification).

Oct 21, 2021

The ASOR Map Collection

I'm not sure how long ASOR (American Society of Overseas Research) has had these maps available but it looks like a handy resource.

Oct 20, 2021

What Did You Leave Out?

Michael Kruger has a good post here emphasizing the importance of asking and answering the question, “What did you leave out?” I think he is exactly right and exactly write. I still find it painful to excise content that I have garnered through my studious blood, sweat, and tears because it doesn't fit a particular message for a particular audience. 

One way that I ease my pain is to create two versions of my sermon. One document contains everything including the kitchen sink and another file has the message that I will actually preach. By doing this, I don't feel that I am throwing anything away although in actual practice I have rarely revisited and used this information. 

On a related note, I often do a post-preaching analysis where I often note more of what could have been left out rather than what I should have included. These notes are helpful if/when I ever preach the message again.

Oct 18, 2021

Psalm 56

I have been working on a commentary on the Psalms. I have decided to compile some helpful links that I discovered during my research. It includes a mix of exegetical and sermonic links. Here is what I have for Psalm 56 (in no particular order). Feel free to mention any that you find helpful in the comments section.

Into the Word with Paul Carter: https://ca.thegospelcoalition.org/into-the-word/psalms-56-57

Analysis by C. J. Labuschagne: https://www.labuschagne.nl/ps056.pdf

William Barrick’s notes: https://drbarrick.org/files/studynotes/Psalms/Ps_056.pdf

Psalm 56 devotional: https://www.generations.org/devotionals/69

Oct 17, 2021

The Latest Issue of the Review of Biblical Literature

The latest issue of Review of Biblical Literature is out. Reviews can be accessed by clicking the links below but unfortunately you must be a SBL member to read them.

Patricia D. Ahearne-Kroll, Aseneth of Egypt: The Composition of a Jewish Narrative
Reviewed by Maria Brutti

Jennifer Barry, Bishops in Flight: Exile and Displacement in Late Antiquity
Reviewed by Ritva H. Williams

Martin Brons, Augustins Trinitätslehre praktisch: Katechese, Liturgie, Predigt: Ritual und Unterweisungauf dem Weg der Taufe
Reviewed by Alexander H. Pierce

M. Daniel Carroll R., The Book of Amos
Reviewed by Jason Radine

Philip Michael Forness, Preaching Christology in the Roman Near East: A Study of Jacob of Serugh
Reviewed by Anuj M. Amin

Robert P. Gordon, trans.; George A. Kiraz and Joseph Bali, eds., The Syriac Peshitta Bible with English Translation: Chronicles
Reviewed by Robert J. Owens

Judith Herrin, Ravenna: Capital of Empire, Crucible of Europe
Reviewed by Lee M. Jefferson

Hilary Lipka and Bruce Wells, eds., Sexuality and Law in the Torah
Reviewed by Ilan Peled

Daniel DeForest London, Theodicy and Spirituality in the Fourth Gospel: A Girardian Perspective
Reviewed by Russell Morton

Blossom Stefaniw, Christian Reading: Language, Ethics, and the Order of Things
Reviewed by H. Gregory Snyder