Using a Bible story to make a point about something in today’s culture is what preachers do on a regular basis. Some do it very well, and others not so well. (No comments about which group I’m in.)
The main problem of the “not so well” group does not have as much to do with their communication skills as it does with them just making bad analogies. That is, they use the wrong story to make a point, and therefore, don’t make the right point. (Get my point?)
Anyway, I ran across a great article today where the writer does it extremely well. Part of it is below; you can read the whole thing here. Mark Joseph is responding to the notion that Gov. Sarah Palin is like the biblical Esther. This is his perspective analogous to the upcoming VP debate:
But there may be another story that fits Palin’s dilemma: In the story of David and Goliath, the young, future king decides that he will take on the 9-foot giant and goes to King Saul and tells him of his plan. Saul is bemused by the teenager who has no chance against the giant, but he consents and immediately gives him the appropriate gear, a heavy protective outfit worn to battle, known as a “coat of mail,” along with the king’s sword.
David, Scriptures imply, was physically overwhelmed by the get-up and barely able to move. Telling the king thanks but no thanks, the young shepherd boy threw off the gear and proceeded to gather stones found by a brook in his slingshot, which he used to fell the giant.
Not unlike the young shepherd boy, the best thing Sarah Palin can do in the remaining hours before she faces her own Goliath in the form of a tough, smart senator with three decades of experience, and the best thing the McCain campaign can do for her, is to let her rid herself of her coat of mail — the overzealous handlers — and let Palin run wild and be the natural, untamed politician she is.
David spent his youth battling bears and lions, but he knew nothing about battle. His victory came when he was freed of the then-modern tools of battle and allowed to bring his native skills, cultivated in the wild, to a battle for which he was by all accounts not trained for.
Palin’s political skills are the equivalent of David’s battle skills, honed in the Alaskan wilderness where she operated as her nickname “Barracuda” suggests, ruthlessly defeating opponents who crossed her (including her own mother-in-law, who ran for mayor after Palin) and political mentors who she thought had become corrupt (Gov. Frank Murkowski).
If that Palin shows up at Thursday night’s debate, it will because she dismisses the advisers, trusts her instincts, regains her confidence and remembers where her success came from.