Kevin Vanhoozer on the Task of Preaching

What do we “do” as preachers? Are we giving people more information (biblical, practical, spiritual)? Are we giving them encouragement? Are we shaping their affections? Kevin Vanhoozer has a suggestion….

From The Drama of Doctrine:

The ministry of the Word involves far more than ideas. Thanks to a host of postmodern prophets, we are more aware than ever of the power of language to shape human thinking and experience. Language creates a “world,” that is a cultural framework in which we live and move and process our experience. Preaching, teaching, and evangelism are the means by which the gospel becomes that all-encompassing framework that allows us to think and experience truth, goodness, and beauty in light of the history of Jesus Christ. The Ministry of the Word involves more than communicating a few truths; it involves transmitting a whole way of thinking and experiencing. Preaching and teaching should be “evangelistic,” then, in the sense of enabling people to indwell the gospel (=evangel) as the primary framework for all that they say and do. (74)

So what do preachers do? They create worlds….world that are shaped by the gospel.



Published by cwoznicki

Chris Woznicki is an Assistant Adjunct Professor of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. He works as the regional training associate for the Los Angeles region of Young Life.

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