Here are some thoughts from Beliefnet on narrative preaching from a rather different vantage point, which discusses Thomas Long’s Preaching from Memory to Hope:
Conservatives worry about the lack of didactic information, entertainment, too little doctrine, lacking in ethical appeal and not evangelistic enough.
Moderates contend that narrative worked when folks knew their Bibles and their beliefs but needed to be awakened, and those are not the issues today.
The left side argue that there is too much power and reshaping and ideology at work in the narrative preacher.
Long thanks each of these but doesn’t think their criticisms are fatal, even if well-aimed at times. He thinks sermons need to do what Augustine said: teach, delight and persuade. Narrative can do too much delight and not enough teaching and persuading, but it can’t be abandoned.
In fact, he argues four points:
1. Narrative as dress rehearsal, where the preacher embodies the activity of God in human events.
2. Narrative as congregational canon, where stories being told shape a community.
3. Narrative as means for remembering the lost and silenced.
4. Narrative as process for coming to faith…

HT: @scotmcknight

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