Saturday, October 29, 2005

PZ on Preaching (excerpt):

I believe that good preaching is exactly what Tolstoy says true art is. Good preaching conveys deeply felt feelings, personally, on the part of the speaker; and good preaching always and without exception stimulates feelings of love and compassion, first for oneself and then for others, in the hearer. I have had it with cerebral preaching and preaching as self-expression or also as instruction. (Whenever somebody tells me they love to preach, and usually this is in connection with a job interview, I glaze over. The would-be associate reminds me of the actor at the audition who when asked for what role he or she is auditioning, answers, the lead!) I question what is sometimes called "expository preaching" because it often seems to me in practice to be heady rather than getting through to the heart of a man and a woman. In any event, just as an exercise – I believe a throttling but also a funny exercise – read "What Is Art?" once, but then read it again and subsitute the word "preaching" for the word "art."

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