Make It Salty

After reading the Kierkegaard parables I shared in my last post and reading/listening to Peter Rollins over the last month or so, I've been thinking a lot about the role of story in our preaching/teaching.  Rollins uses parables A LOT, and they're effective.  It's crazy how I remember these stories he tells.

Rollins says, "Instead of religious discourse being a type of drink designed to satisfy our thirst for answers, Jesus made his teaching salty, evoking thirst."  He explains this further in a video from 2011:

The Power of Parable from Peter Rollins on Vimeo.

I wonder whether our Christian teaching/preaching, even our conversations with others, focus too much on giving answers or providing solutions to biblical/theological issues.

We use a lot of words in Christianity.  We have a language that we use, and many of us who grew up in church or who have been around church are quite comfortable with this language - whether we realize it or not.  But, how do we use these words, this language, in order to communicate with others - even fellow believers?  Do we give out answers?  Do we give easy to stomach definitions, black and white, that no one should dare have to think or wrestle with faith, doubt, the Bible?  Do we give self-help?  Do we peddle feel-goodism?

Rollins says,
"It is all too common for Christians to attempt to do justice to the scriptural narrative by listening to it, learning from it, and attempting to extract a way of viewing the world from it. But the narrative itself is asking us to approach it in a much more radical way. It is inviting us to wrestle with it, disagree with it, contend with it, and contest it—not as an end in itself, but as a means of approaching its life-transforming truth, a truth that dwells within and yet beyond the words." 
I like this idea of using parable, stories, that our words would be salty; thus, evoking thirst in our hearers.  I'd love to have some salty conversations where I walked away thirsty, literally seeking out the water, Jesus himself.  I'd love it if my preaching/teaching left people with questions, not of me, but of the text, of Jesus himself.  I'd love it if they walked away looking for water, searching for life-giving water.

Let's wrestle through this together.  Let's sharpen one another as we seek answers and contend with, contest, disagree with one another, SO THAT we can be transformed by Jesus.

May your words be salty.  May your words invoke thirst.

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