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Quote of the Week

I wrote in a previous post how good preaching involves much more than simply “preaching from the Bible.”  Good preaching means replicating the hermeneutic of Jesus and the apostles.  While Charles Scobie is not addressing my exact point, his contention that homiletics and hermeneutics are tied together demonstrates that a good sermon is just as much about interpretation as it is delivery. 

Christian preaching is surely one of the most difficult and demanding tasks required of any member of the community of faith today.  As a form of biblical interpretation it raises profound and challenging hermeneutical questions.  Unfortunately, the abundant literature on preaching tends to focus on the preparation, construction and delivery of sermons, on providing ‘twenty steps to effective preaching.’  It is seldom that such works recognize and tackle the fundamental hermeneutical problems and challenges they pose in the postmodern context.  Conversely, however, the vigorous contemporary debate over hermeneutics, while of necessity academic (in a good sense) in nature, is always in danger of becoming academic (in a pejorative sense) and failing to make sufficient account of the actual contexts in which biblical interpretation takes place-preaching being a prime example.  In short, homiletics needs to focus more on hermeneutics, and hermeneutics need to focus more on homiletics. (Scobie, “Biblical Theology and Preaching” in Out of Egypt: Biblical Theology and Biblical Interpretation, 464-65)

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