Seward Hiltner Quote on Stories and Principles


“In Christianity and Judaism, which have beliefs and principles but regard them as having emerged from history and events, expressing the faith may take either of two general forms: narrating and interpreting the events, or describing and clarifying the principles. Thus the dramatic as well as the expository form of expression is inherent in these two faiths. Probably the most effective communication is achieved with some combination of the two methods. Without reference to events, principles tend to lose their connection with actual situations. Yet mere storytelling without principles to relate the meaning of the old event to the new situation makes the expression nostalgic rather than salvatory.”

                -Seward Hiltner (Theological Dynamics, A

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