Skill Builders

Home > Skill Builders

Preaching the Terrors

When your text is bad news

See theme

Not too long ago, I was invited to address a senior citizens' group on "Women in the Old Testament." They had been studying various biblical characters and wanted me to introduce them to some of Israel's heroines; so I did.

I told them about Jael, "most blessed of women" (Judges 5:24), who drove a tent peg through Sisera's temple with a mallet.

I told them about Esther, who won permission for the Jews of her husband's Persian empire "to destroy, kill and annihilate" 75,000 of their enemies (Esther 8:11).

By the end of my talk, my audience's eyes were very large, and I was feeling a little queasy myself. They thanked me very much and have never asked me back.

Granted, I could just as easily have talked about Sarah, Ruth, and the widow of Zarephath, but there comes a time in every preacher's life when the queasy-making parts of the Bible can no longer be ignored, when it is time to admit that the Bible is not a Book about admirable people or even about a conventionally admirable God.

It is instead ...

skill builder Preview

This skill builder is available to subscribers only.

To continue reading:

Rating & Reviews

Average User Rating: Not rated

No comments

Please to rate and review this skill builder. Or subscribe now for full access.

Related articles

Speaking into Crisis

What we can learn from two pastors-Bonhoeffer and Thielicke-who ministered in terrible times

You Had to Bring It Up

Every faithful preacher must sometimes raise controversy

The Landmark Sermon

A clear word at the right time can keep the church from pulling apart

More articles

Print this pageShopping CartHelpMy Account