Chapter 7

Your Text Has Feelings

You know how to interpret the ideas of a preaching passage, but there's much more there. Why the emotion of a text is key to inspirational preaching

Emotion can be used to manipulate audiences. As a result, emotions—particularly in Caucasian and Asian cultures—are often considered the "bad boy" by-products of good preaching; they are the dangerous streets we must traverse to get to the goal of moving people to respond. The nature of the word e-motion makes this clear. Good preaching does move people; it is supposed to animate them. Ah, but that means we must play with those bad boys.

In the narrative, prophetic, and poetic genres particularly, it is clear God intends that there be an emotional context in Scripture. This emotional perspective should be the basis of inspirational preaching. I call this "emotional hermeneutics." If the preacher understands these texts properly, preaching these narratives, prophecies, and poems will inspire and animate a response from the congregation. In fact, God gave these emotionally laden texts for that purpose.

In this article, I will use biblical narrative as an example. ...

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