I was in my preaching class the other day and we were talking about different models of preaching. We mentioned the container method, which basically assumes that there is one little golden “nugget” of truth in the Scripture that one is attempting to find and get from the “container” of the Word of God. We also briefly talked about the conversational method of preaching, and letting the text speak to us, engaging the congregation in an exploration of the text, etc [something I find much more appealing and engaging, whether as a preacher or as a congregant].
We’re reading from Tom Long’s book, Witness of Preaching, and are going through Long’s exegetical method. The last step says “State the claims of the text upon the listener.” And this got me thinking about the purpose of “the sermon” – our ability to really state a claim, to say what a certain text is speaking and saying to a community of believers. We got into a discussion about what a “claim” really means, and perhaps it’s just an invitation, or a reflection and not really declarative statements, perhaps. And then our professor asked this question: “Can the Gospel claim us without must, ought or should language?”
What do you think?