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How To Preach A Parable
by Eugene Lowry
Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1989
Preaching using the narrative style has always fascinated me, probably because I am not the best “storyteller” in today’s preaching circles! Often preachers will take a narrative passage or a parable and preach information oriented sermons, which is easy to do but not always the most effective way to tell a story.
I believe that Lowry is correct in stating that parables do not have a point, they are a point. The story itself is descriptive, and thus grabs the readers attention to drive home a truth about God.
Lowry’s book helped me in understanding the different methods of delivery when it comes to parabolic preaching. His four examples of Running The Story, Delaying The Story, Suspending The Story, and Alternating The Story were very helpful. Within each style he gives you helpful tips on how to use this approach, and he also points out the pitfalls to avoid. I found this to be the most practical portion of his book.
The book’s greatest drawback, in my opinion, is the inclusion of the 4 example sermons. I completely understand why he would include them in that it gave me an understanding of how to actually preach each sermon. Chalk it up to my being part of the MTV generation, but reading sermons never seem to move me. Words spoken are meant to be heard to be most effective. Again, I was helped in that I could see his remarks to each famous preacher’s sermon; but, I just did not get out of it what I had hoped to.
Any book that helps me sharpen my skills at narrative preaching is good, therefore when it’s all said and done, Lowry’s book was helpful.
Preach On ... Jason Cruise