The Term “Sermon Illustration” Is Broader than You Think

Good writers typically supply a fair number of preachers’ “illustrations,” as we call them. The term is actually a catch-all for anecdotes, analogies, stories, blog entries, editorial opinions, famous tweets, incidents from history, memorable sayings, biographical profiles, statistics, snippets of dialogue from TV interviews, lines from Wikipedia bios, lines from poems, news reports, people’s comments on news reports, summaries of film plots, sentences from one of Bonhoeffer’s prison letters, and all the other fine things preachers gather, store, and retrieve in order to dress their exegeted text decently so that when Sunday morning comes the preacher’s sermon may appear “clothed and in [its] right mind.”

Cornelius Platinga in Reading for Preaching, p. 22.

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