Monday, August 11, 2008

Creative Ways to Understand Our Culture

Creative thinker, Roger von Oech, teaches you can use four roles to help you be more creative. In his book A Kick in the Seat of the Pants he writes that the hallmark of creative people is thier mental flexibility. Creative people are able to shift in out of different mental gears to examine an issue effectively. To help you gain this mental skill Roger advocates looking at a problem, or a scripture, a lesson, or whatever with four unique roles. The roles he describes are explorer, artist, judge, and warrior. I'll let you read the book to know more about what he's talking about.

What if we plussed his idea? What if, if we are looking at a scripture, we took the time to write a short paragrapgh how the different Bible characters would look at the text? Issuing the little details we discover into the message can enliven your presentation. Take, for example, the story of the feeding of the 5000. How would the spontaneous Peter react? Or the thunderous James and John? How would the redeemed Matthew react to such a feat?

In order to be successful at this method you will need to take some time to understand a Bible character's personality, or you'll just interject your personality. So you'll have to do some homework to make this method work. This method could help you exegete the scripture with fresh insight.

What about cultural exegesis? If you preach you probably do this to some extent already when you think about pray about the people you are preaching too. To plus what you are already doing take some of the people you know well in your congregation and place them in the story. How would John, the chairmen of the elders, react when Noah said he needs to build a boat? How would the frenzied single Dad react to Jesus when Jesus let the children come unto him? This could help you bridge the gap between the Bible's culture and our culture and make the Bible real to your audience.

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