Monday, April 27, 2020

The ineffectiveness of preaching

Most of our pedagogies are not set up imitatively, and this might explain why most of them are so ineffective at transforming people’s actual relationality and relating. Protestants have long placed their faith in the transforming power of the preached word. They are frequently surprised at how little the communication of information about the Bible and from its texts—however eloquently and passionately done—changes the behavior of its churchgoing listeners. How unsurprising though. There is nothing to imitate here, or to copy. People cannot copy a preacher except by becoming a preacher, and that activity can leave a lot of other moral activity unaddressed. Writing a book will not change much either. It can help, but it can only be secondary to the main business of constructing healthy learning communities out of people that are influenced by people.—Paul: An Apostle’s Journey, 68

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