Relevance…. “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means” says Inigo Montoya in the classic comedy Princess Bride. Although Montoya is referring to the word “inconceivable” as overused by the Sicilian criminal “genius” Vizzini, a similar sentiment could be expressed about the use of the word “relevance” in contemporary North American ministry circles. Virtually everyone uses the term relevance with regards to sermons, but based on the diverse use of the word one cannot if others are giving it the same meaning. It is not the equivalent of “trendy” or “up-to-date.” Giving a biblically founded definition to “relevance” is the goal of my doctoral dissertation on preaching. Once approved, I hope to have it published. Sections of it will be posted on my blog (click here to go to blog) and presented for feedback. If this of interest to you please post feedback on my blog page. Any kind of dialogue on my posts helps me write more effectively.
Tentative Dissertation Title: “Chasing After the Wind or Textually Driven Exposition: Toward a Biblical Theology of Relevance in Preaching”