Chapter 134

Illustrating from Pop Culture

How to refer to pop culture appropriately

Preaching Today: The dominant culture in America today is, of course, pop culture. Illustrating from that culture in our sermons raises all sorts of questions as to what sort of things we can use in the pulpit, how to use it well, how to use it in a way that will connect with our hearers. Kevin, give us some advice.

Kevin Miller: I want to offer two powerful principles for how to illustrate using pop culture—songs, movies, TV shows, and so on. But first, because this topic necessarily involves a philosophy or theology of culture, I'd like to give three assumptions that I bring as a preacher to this whole topic of illustrating from pop culture.

The first assumption is that all teachers and communicators must take people from the known and move to the unknown. Starting with what is known, they make comparisons or contrasts so people can understand what they don't already know. This is a universal law of education. It is the reason behind every metaphor, simile, and analogy.

For ...

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