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A Review of "Preaching with Variety" by Jeffrey Arthurs

How to recreate the dynamics of biblical genres

I have a friend who was born with little ability to taste food (now, there is someone to feel sorry for). For him, meals are nothing to get excited about, because aside from the texture and temperature, the delicacies on the plate are all much the same.

Like my friend, many of us preach as though we have little sense of taste, as though we did not sense the difference between the various literary genres in the Bible. We teach narratives like poetry, parables like apocalyptic literature. As a result we fail to draw out of the text the rich flavors that are there. The result can be flat, routine preaching.

The Scriptures, of course, are anything but flat, and that is what Jeffrey Arthurs' book, Preaching with Variety (Kregel, 2007) aims to help us appreciate. What drives Arthurs' book is this core idea:

God is both an artist and a persuader. He expresses himself with skill, and he moves audiences with purpose … .God's purposes flow out of his character just as artistry does. He is active ...

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