Monday, November 4, 2013

The Preacher's Creative Process

Chapter 9, Jana Childers, “The Preacher’s Creative Process” pp. 153-168

Childers discusses creativity in preaching. She asserts that finding “deep translation” as described on p. 154 is essential. Sadly it is not clear what “deep translation” might be. Childers then shifts focus to talk about studies of creativity. The subject has not been studied systematically until the late nineteenth century. Since then most theorists have articulated some form of definition of an issue, a period of stepping aside from the issue, emergence of an idea, and consideration or testing of the idea. Establishing time and space to step aside from the issue is critical for creativity, including that of art, literature, invention, and problem-solving. Finding the time and space, says Childers, is very difficult for preachers. However, she says the process is necessary, otherwise the Holy Spirit will never give the preacher understanding sufficient to order a powerful sermon.

Childers’ view is made suspect in her references to the Holy Spirit as “she” and her allegations that the Holy Spirit “needs an editor” (p. 165). Yet some of Childers’ suggestions may well be valid. No doubt creativity can and should be fueled by making space for subconscious problem solving. Spending tme in contemplation is of great value.

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