My students will often ask me: "what the heck am I supposed to do with the text now that you have deconstructed it"? That is an excellent question which I am not sure that I always give the best answer. It will probably be a lifelong struggle for all of us.
Walter Brueggemann is an example of one who lives in both worlds. He is a biblical critic, but also an outstanding preacher who brings life to the Bible. One of my students, Ryan Gear, has posted a short clip in which Brueggemann suggests that historical criticism has become the enemy of preaching since it makes imagination impossible because it flattens the text by way of explanation. He suggests that preachers should value historical criticism, but put it in its place and move beyond it.
What do you think? Is historical criticism an enemy of preaching? Can the two reside and work together? Or, are they so at odds with one another that they are, in the words of Longfellow, "Two ships that pass in the night"?
How, if at all, do you incorporate the knowledge of historical criticism in your preaching and teaching?