One of several benefits of “analogy” is clarity! An analogy gives clarity to a concept because it can simplify and/or illuminate a thought, concept, or truth. We know that to be the case when it comes to the “Trinity.” Who hasn’t attempted to give some clarity or understanding of the Trinity by using an analogy — no matter how inadequate — it helps!
Here are several audio examples of Tony Evans using analogy and watch what happens when he drives the analogy at the end! You will hear the audience following and connecting with the analogy as they begin amen-ing and applauding — all to say — yes we see it now!
Batteries Designed For The Use
Tony Evans understands the value of analogy and states . . . .
“Now remember, for every spiritual principle there is a physical illustration.” — [Link The Heart]
In another message, Evans makes a passing metaphor — “you have the canvas fighting with the painter”
While Evans does not run that analogy out like he does in the previous examples, YOU could easily do that to drive the point like he does in the other examples.
[Which by the way helps us understand how to develop an analogy for a message — Start with a metaphor or take that metaphor you are using and run it out further.]
Let’s Try It — here’s off the cuff . . . .
We all know that a painter has to have a proper surface on which to paint.
You can’t paint on any old surface.
The surface has to be able to receive or accept the paint.
Have you ever tried to paint on a shiny or glossy surface — a plastic sheet or a glossy surfaced container.
Even using a pen on such a surface causes the pen’s ink to refuse to lay down on that surface.
Even a little grease from your hand can affect the surface and its ability to receive the ink.
A surface has to be willing to accept the paint or ink.
A house painter needs to put on a primer so the surface does not resist the paint.
Likewise, an artist must use a surface that will accept the paint — not resist the paint — and so a piece of “painter’s canvas” is used. But it still not ready for the artist to paint on, he must apply a “gesso” — a coating put on that canvas to ready it for painting — and he lets that coating dry overnight — all of this so that the canvas does not resist the paint — the painting — the painter.
God wants to paint His picture on our lives and we can be resisting the paint and the painter. All those who know not Christ as their Saviour have a slippy selfish surface and it by nature refuses to accept the actions of the painter. But when one comes into a saving relationship with Jesus, a new canvas is stretched over that resistant surface, and the Holy Spirit applies a “gesso” which accepts His movements. . . .
Without getting laboriously analogical — some of the words below can help drive the my analogy even more effectively — i.e. touchup – replica – masterpiece
Words Related To . . . .
coast of paint
face / eye / fingernails / war
art show / gallery
paint by numbers
posing / sitting
— Ted Martens
12 thoughts on “Analogies & Clarity: Tony Evans”
In my younger days I was 10 years a youth worker. Games were very important to draw youth and I was often criticized for doing so many games. What the critics needed to know is that each game was carefully selected to be a physical illustration experienced that was to be a spiritual principle or concept to come into practice by the youth. Youth need to experience a great scavenger hunt. Truth: most people spend their whole life on a scavenger hunt looking for love, significance, excitement…youth can already list most of them. Live the physical illustration to begin to live the spiritual principle.
Analogy is one reason why one becomes a better preacher the longer he lives, especially those who have their eyes open and notepads handy when life happens. From marriage, children, pets, work, and the general activities of life come volumes of potential analogies that can help relate the Truth of the gospel. The older a preacher gets, the less likely he should depend on illustrations from other pastors and preachers and use his own, for personal experience adds conviction, passion, and credibility. But that being said, I have a book of Tony Evans’ illustrations in my own library 😉