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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

To visualize or not to visualize

My friend Matt has a great post today about the use of images in preaching.

He juxtaposes the neurological research of David Phillips with the homiletic prowess of John Piper (Piper video below).

Phillips says:
What I discovered was when the brain receives sensory inputs, it transforms them into images. In other words, the brain learns, adapts, and is literally re-wired through images . . . We need to communicate in images. Whether it is video clips, or images in our sermon or verbal images, if we want to communicate for behavioral change, we need to communicate in images.

Piper on the other hand says:
I think the use of video and drama largely is a token of unbelief in the power of preaching. And I think that, to the degree that pastors begin to supplement their preaching with this entertaining spice to help people stay with them and be moved and get helped, it's going to backfire.... It's going to communicate that preaching is weak, preaching doesn't save, preaching doesn't hold, but entertainment does.

So . . . what do you think? Who do you think is right?

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