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melissa powell: stretch it wider

I love language. It fascinates me, so much so that I have studied four languages other than my own at a tertiary level. As a preacher, I approach the task of sermon writing with a mixture of excitement and fear, because it gives me the opportunity to play with language, particularly with words; to engage in the art of carefully crafting an argument in order to advocate a point.

But I wonder sometimes, do we as preachers rely too often on the cleverness of our words as a means of communication? Does our earnest and valid desire as evangelicals to affirm the divine inspiration, truthfulness and authority of the scriptures sometimes cause us to unintentionally exclude those who are illiterate, mentally ill, or those with cognitive ‘disabilities’ like autism – just to name a few, from hearing the gospel that we preach? (more…)