Black Preacher as a Student of Words

In the Class Preaching in the Black Tradition, I saw one of my classmates, Rev. John Cox, with a hand held computer. I saw he had a hand held Bible in one hand and one of those computers in the other. He was punching things into it. I asked him after class, what is that computer? He told me that it was a dictionary, thesaurus, and word game program.

He went on to say that every time he sees or hears a word that he doesn’t know the definition of, he looks it up. Over time his vocabulary improves and thus so does his preaching. In another post I wrote about the importance of rhetoric to the black preacher and the Black sermon, but I only hinted at how one improves one’s rhetorical skills. Rev. Cox definitely provides such a way, always look up words you don’t understand.

In addition, I would suggest that one works through some of those vocabulary building books. I am currently using Word Power Made Easy. Black Preaching is about rhetorical power, without a knowledge of words you will not be as effective as you would otherwise be.

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Sherman Haywood Cox II

Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

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