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Grafting in the Third-Person Illustration (part two)

How to make illustrations that do not come from your own experience into an organic part of the sermon.

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This is part two of a two-part series. To read part one, click here.

What is intended when discerning homileticians scorn " canned " illustrations or when savvy preachers say, " I illustrate only from my own experience " ? What problem have they rightly recognized? A discriminating view of third-person illustrations finds that the problem is not third-person illustrations, per se, nor their medium, but rather the quality of third-person illustrations and the skill with which they are used.

Not all third-person illustrations are aluminum; some are like a tree cutting that we can graft into a bountiful olive tree. Chosen with care and used with skill, these illustrations can bud and flourish and bear fruit like a branch native to the tree.

I see six real problems with some third-person illustrations and how they are used. This final article looks at numbers three through six. For each problem I offer discriminating solutions.

3. Some third-person illustrations have ...

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