Saturday, April 21, 2018

When Is An Illustration Not An Illustration?

McCartney's Illustrations of 1946 was a landmark publication for ministers. I inherited two copies from other ministers. It was a book of sermon illustrations -- so organised that one could easily find what one needed to support a certain topic. My own library included several books of illustrations. My favourite was Miller's Notes & Quotes for Church Speakers of 1960. OBSERVATION: But here is something that bothers me. I have used such illustrations myself as illustrations, or as "possibly true". But I keep coming across preachers who claim these illustrations as their personal experience. As an example, one minister shared how he and his wife had peeped at one another through a keyhole, and that was the first time they had seen eye to eye. That is a classic illustration for those in the know. What does one make of this? A very great coincidence? A bluffing minister? And if they are bluffing, then what else does it say about them?

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