What is the relationship of the great literary works of humanity - the 'secular Scriptures' - to the Word and words of Christianity and its Jewish antecedent?
- Author Bill Anderson
- Pub Date 01/08/2010
The exhilarating scope of the title - Words and the Word - may seem almost undercut by its sober subtitle: The Use of Literature as a Practical Aid to Preaching. But the value of this book lies in its very bi-polarity. On the one hand, here are practical ways of enhancing the word delivered from the 'mountain' of the pulpit (usually not so lofty these days); on the other, here are some of the great themes that pervade theology and life. This duality seems utterly right. And both aspects are illumined, not obscured, by reference to the preacher's own story. So, this is a book that seminarians, deacons, priests, even bishops, would do well to take in hand. Indeed, conveyed with suitable tact, what a wonderful present for priest friends! But it would be a loss were it confined to the clergy. Just as a good sermon will lead its listeners beyond appreciation of a preacher's learning or eloquence to simple apprehension of the 'thing' itself, the res of the celebrated mystery, the presence of the Lord, and its consequences for our lives, so this book both opens a door into our literary inheritance and edges us again and again towards the universal questions: What is literature? What is the relationship of the great literary works of humanity - the 'secular Scriptures' - to the Word and words of Christianity and its Jewish antecedent? How might we enter into this literary world, and integrate our human culture with our Christian faith? How might a lectio humana enrich our lectio divina, and vice versa? How might I finally educate myself? Surely every word that is true, beautiful and good can be found again, and should be, in the service of the Word made flesh, and add its lustre to the halting words of preachers.