Story Sermons of Gods Grace
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"If it is strange to hear a story for a sermon, it is strange because the church has missed one important fact about the Bible: the Bible has more stories than anything else. It is God's idea from the beginning that the bulk of the Bible is narrative. If over the centuries Christians have become used to sermons being a string of assertions, explanations, or exhortations (with a sprinkling of stories as illustrations), the sermons have not been preached in a manner consistent with how the Bible communicates reality. Most of the Bible is stories.
Story sermons do today what Jesus did in his stories -- they sneak up on people. Listeners can ward off moral exhortations, and they become resistant to three points, a poem, and a prayer. Intellectually they can parry with information doled out in a series of reasoned arguments. But stories win us over before we understand what is going on. Stories quietly tip the scale of our minds toward agreeing with God's graciousness."
(from the Introduction)
"In these fine story-sermons believable things happen to believable people, and faith grows -- both theirs and ours."
David L. Bartlett
Lantz Professor of Christian Communication
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Yale University Divinity School
David O. Bales has been a Presbyterian pastor for 24 years. Currently the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Klamath Falls, Oregon, he is also a freelance writer and editor for Stephen Ministries, St. Louis, Missouri. Bales has published sermons in "Pulpit Digest," "Preaching," and "Lectionary Homiletics," and has taught college courses in World Religions and Ethics. In addition to teaching Greek and Hebrew, he instructs lay preachers for his congregation and community. Bales is a graduate of the University of Portland and earned his M.Div. degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary.
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