Mindset Switch on Texts

The traditional approach to preaching a Bible passage is that it is a collection of data, probably in an antiquated form.  So for many preachers, coming to the text is coming in search of sermon content – data to be transmitted, information to be mined and presented.

In recent years awareness has increased significantly in regards to the inherent strength and function of Bible texts.  They are not collections of data presented in incidental forms.  Rather, it is becoming clearer to many that God speaks through the texts as texts.  God speaks not only through the information contained in a text, but also through the way that the text itself functions.  God did not only inspire the content, but the genre and form of the passage.  Poetry is poetry for a reason.  Discourse is discourse on purpose.  Prophetic writing is that way for a reason (this being a positive reason, not just an excuse to dismiss any content that doesn’t fit with your theology, as I see an alarming number of people doing these days).

If you are still of the mindset that a Bible text is a collection of data to be mined for personal edification and sermon preparation, please consider this switch.  Treat a text as a piece of purposeful communication.  The genre matters.  The form matters.  The function of the text is a key factor to consider in understanding the text.

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One thought on “Mindset Switch on Texts

  1. Yes!! Brilliant. Makes such a difference if we allow the texts to speak as they are written, the form adds so much richness that is lost if it’s just ‘raped’ for interesting information or fortune cookie soundbites.

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