GIVING BLOOD BY LEONARD SWEET
Study Helps Chapter 2: “Narraphor—The Ars Combinatoria of Narrative and Metaphor”
1. When Sweet writes he often introduces new words to reframe truth. Just as when a high schooler must keep up with definitions and theorems when learning geometry, the reader must stay on top of the Sweet definitions. And, as in geometry, these vocabulary words are built upon to teach concepts later in the book. Make every effort to stay on top of vocabulary.
2. “Somewhere along the way, we lost the art of storytelling. Even worse, we have lost the art of story casting — finding our identity in the Jesus story, along with how to understand, interpret, and find meaning and the truth of Jesus in story.” (p.36)
3. In the first chapter Sweet introduced the concept of a semiotic sermon. In this quote he fleshes out the meaning of that phrase:
“The semiotic sermon begins by identifying and creating stories and images that fuse into our memories and allow for sensory experiences of a different world — not a world of fiction but a world of greater truth. As I said in chapter 1 , together images and stories create what I call ‘narraphors,’ extended metaphors. And they are the hallmark building blocks of semiotic preaching.” (p. 36)
4. “Preachers need first to have the wonder-filled eyes of a child, the imaginative mind of an artist, the pilgrim devotion of a saint, and the serious humor of a comedian. Boredom is the deadliest sin of a preacher. Better a preacher with a weird imagination than a humorless, tedious mind.” (p. 38)
5. I love this quote: “Perhaps C. S. Lewis was right when he said that what the church needs is not better arguments but better metaphors.” (p. 40)
6. Here’s why you should care and why you are reading the book:
“Narraphoric preaching breaks down resistance, enters the unconscious quickly, and causes the participant to fall into the lap, or trap, of truth . Narraphors get us thinking about something we may not want to think about. They force us to look at life in new ways, and they outwit our reasoned defenses.” (p. 40)
7. Agree or disagree?
“It is not the preacher’s role to help the Scriptures come alive. The Scriptures are already alive. If they are not alive in our life, it’s not a problem with the Scriptures — it’s a problem with us. (p. 42)
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