On harmonization. Or not.

On harmonization. Or not.

Lots of people have tried to write harmonies of the gospels (all the gospels in one account) with varying degrees of success. Not least Calvin. They can be useful, for example, when trying to piece together the final hours of Christ and, even, answer accusations of inconsistency. But they are plagued with difficulty, not least because the gospels are not linear biographies of the life of Jesus.

However, they are also deadly for preachers. Let me explain. I've heard lots of sermons (LOTS!) which go something like this: "Now, even though it's not here in [Mark's] account, [Luke] throws in some extra details which are worth considering." (Substitute any gospel name). At the risk of sounding like the Preaching Taliban, I want to say NO! The gospels are Spirit inspired Scripture and if you are going elsewhere to add in some detail to the account you're preaching, I would suggest you've rather missed the point. Of course, there are credations of this. Bringing in some colour from a parallel account is not so grievous a sin! But when another gospel account is needed in order to interpret another, then I think you're saying something about Scripture which I don't think you believe, and you will be in great danger of missing the point of why the account was written in the first place. 

Harmonization is interesting. But surelly not in preaching?