Carl Sandburg captured well the human condition: "There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud."
That's a paradox. Seemingly contradictory statements that are nonetheless true. Recently paradox has become more important in preaching.
A new worship attender came to see me. A believer, she vulnerably shared some of the mud in which she was currently mired. Then she blurted out: "I got so frustrated at the church I used to attend. Everything was five easy steps! I need to hear something more than pat answers."
I am finding more and more people recognize that a steady diet of "how to" preaching has left them spiritually anemic.
What's the alternative?
For those who aren't helped by "three easy steps," a better alternative is to preach the power of paradox.
Paradox is the wild territory within which most ministers live and work. We see unseen things. We conquer by yielding. We find rest under a yoke. We reign by serving. We are made ...1