Who is your favorite theologian? A seminary posed that question to its students. It is an open question that seeks an opinion, not a definitive correct or incorrect response. Nonetheless, the religious educational institution’s hierarchy probably was surprised and somewhat disappointedly perplexed with Seminarian James W. Kemp’s answer: Theordor S. Geisel. You may be more familiar with the referenced theologian as Dr. Seuss.
Geisel, who passed away on this day twenty years ago, in 1991, wasn’t actually a theologian. But his famous writings influenced the future Pastor Kemp, who consistently used Dr. Seuss illustrations in his sermons as examples of biblical principles. Kemp ultimately decided to write a book, “The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss,” that connects many biblical passages to the stories penned by Dr. Seuss.
Another “Gospel” writer, Robert L. Short, who authored “The Gospel According to Peanuts” and “The Parables of Peanuts,” shifted his attention away from Charles Schulz’s Peanuts cartoons and on to Dr. Seuss. He published “The Parables of Dr. Seuss” in 2008, four years after Kemp’s Dr. Seuss tribute.
Dr. Seuss’s works have warmed many hearts with his whimsical rhymes and colorful characters. His children’s books remain among the bestsellers of all time. Images of the Cat in the Hat, Thing One and Thing Two, and that Grinch whose heart was three sizes too small are joyfully engrained in our psyche.
We don’t forget powerful illustrations. That is why the talents of Dr. Seuss endure. Pastor Kemp recognized that and used the Dr. Seuss illustrations in his preaching and writing. Kemp is not the first, nor last preacher, to use illustrations from the pulpit. They are an excellent tool in connecting scripture to our daily lives. The imagery endures.
This Sunday, September 26, we hold our worship services at 9:15 AM and 10:30 AM. Please join us and see if you can detect any illustration employed as part of the sermon. It would help if you accepted this invitation, because…
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any
Direction you choose!