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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Metaphorical Meaning

I recently listened to a presentation on the power of metaphor by James Geary. He shared that metaphor is the place where what we know overlaps with what we've experienced.

When Shakespeare has Romeo say: "Juliet is the sun" we take our sun-knowledge and see how it might fit to describe Juliet. Where they overlap is where the metaphor has power.

The thing is that we instinctively create connections between things. We are constantly constructing metaphors - Geary said that we use as many as six a minute.

Visuals can build a powerful metaphor for preaching. Even a visual as simple as the one above. I drew a simple diagram to illustrate my point and by its simplicity it offers a dissonance with the subject matter. A Venn diagram illustrating the metaphor usage in one of the most poetic passages in all of English literature is a bit ludicrous. That's what makes it so effective - all of those thoughts and feelings come together and make my point for me.

How do you use metaphor when you preach?

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