Monday Morning Manna: Stories or Not

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I’ve always loved stories. Loved them as a child sitting on my grandfather’s front porch and listing to him tell of his earlier days. Loved hearing my 6th grade teacher read the stories of William Green Hill. Only natural that I would develop a teaching/preaching/writing style heavy with story telling. Seemed to always work well. Good response from learners/listeners/readers. Then I began to hear criticism of those, like me, who included “too much story telling” in their sermons. “Use more exegesis of scripture” the critics said. Don’t misunderstand. I believe strongly in the adequate and accurate exegesis of scripture. I also believe as strongly in the exegesis of the audience. People not only love and listen well to stories, but they remember the truth of scripture when illustrated with applicable illustrations. Many years ago Rudyard Kipling wrote, “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” What Kipling wrote of “history” might also be said of scripture. In fact, it seems that Jesus had a great deal of success telling stories in the form of parables – “He spoke many things to them in parables” (Matthew 13:3). So, I’ll just keep telling my stories, and providing another target for the critics. Anyone remember a story I told in your presence that illustrated a biblical truth?
Dr. Dan Crawford, Senior Professor at Southwestern Baptist Seminary, is the WestCoast Baptist Association’s Spiritual Life & Leadership Mentor. Follow Dan on Twitter @DrDanRC and Facebook www.facebook.com/dan.crawford.

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