Big Ideas and Bad Ideas

  • Russell St. John


Abraham Kuruvilla has proposed an alternative to “Big Idea” preaching, in which he rejects both the practice of distilling a proposition from a text and also the subsequent preaching of the proposition, that is, the Big Idea.1 Kuruvilla proposes instead that a preacher is a “curator,” who must help congregants to “experience the text+theology—the agenda of the A/ author—in all its fullness.” Asking whether it is time to kill Big Idea preaching, Kuruvilla urges a sea change in evangelical homiletics. After summarizing his proposal, this paper offers an alternate understanding of the hermeneutical foundations that undergird Kuruvilla’s disagreements with Big Idea preaching. In so doing, this paper ultimately rejects Kuruvilla’s proposal while reaffirming the value of propositional preaching for evangelical homiletics.