Evangelism without the word

A modest contribution to the audio department is a sermon I preached Mar. 10 on evangelism. My text was Ep 4.6, a verse which has neither the word evangelism nor the term gospel in it. The last of the seven ones. So how did I manage that? You’ll have to listen to figure it out. Is only 24 minutes. Or will I have to compete with Duck Dynasty for your time?

• Speaking of audio, I have a head cold, or something, that has sent my voice range into the lowest possible range of human hearing. Lower than my son The Middleman’s envious bass. Volume I don’t have, but James Earl Jones has nothing on me. Last night, I decided not to cancel our home Bible reading, and “bravely” muddle through the hour. (Was that a slight in disguise?) One participant told me she liked my new voice. But in a day or two, it’ll be back to its normal tenor.

• What baffles one rings another’s bell. I think Twitter’s cool (seven years old today, this service), others still say they’ve not figured it out. What baffles me is LinkedIn.com. I’m on it, but question whether it has any useful purpose. Must have, considering how many use it. I’ll chalk it up to my obtuseness.

• Earlier in the day I watched the live broadcast of Jonathan Last speaking on the decline of the birth rate, on the Heritage Foundation site. Quite interesting. Wondering what implications it might have for the church and its mission. There are going to be fewer people around, says Mr. Last. There will be fewer in the church too unless we’re bringing more in. (Wouldn’t his surname be a great one for a disciple?)

• A recent lesson: I’d like to think that the faithful people of God show solidarity to their own, without coverups of sin. No straggler left behind. No brother or sister left to fend for themselves, or defend themselves without support. I’ve seen the good side of it, and hope and pray it’s a general trait of ours. I try to remember to do that, but I sometimes feel it’s from a distance, and feeble.

• A brother asked me how the favorite-verse project was going. It has stopped, basically. I invited, instructed, helped a number get registered and going, but I don’t have time nor inclination to cajole, wheedle, or pamper. What’s there, written by some Very Good Guys, is very good. Just a shame everyone hasn’t done their piece.

• A lesson about why politics is not for Christians: Ohio Sen. Rob Portman comes out in support of same-sex marriage after his son revealed he’s homosexual. Preibus, RNC chair, supports Portman. Not a few voices recommend change of the Republican Party to push same-sex marriage. The few times I’ve ever considered joining the Republicans, they do something stupid and immoral and remind me why it’s better to stay away.

• I want to like the ESV, but renderings like this make me wary: “I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress” (Psa 17.3c). That’s awkward. And very close to the KJV, more so than the RSV from which the version was tweaked. Much better is the NET: “I am determined I will say nothing sinful.”

• A tweet by a religious service said that the Archbishop of Canterbury was “enthroned.” A Catholic in the Brazilian media said the same of the pope. Closer to the truth than they might like to admit? Lots of noise about how humble their new pope is. Uh huh, when he accepts all those titles accrued to the head of the Roman church. Fixing his own food and riding a bus don’t make up for participating in and reinforcing a system of power and politics.

• The sermon mentioned at the beginning was part of a mini-seminar, “Evangelism for the Rest of Us.” If your congregation would be interested in hosting it sometime, let me know. (That’s what the comments section is for.)  The first hosts seemed pleased enough.

• I mentioned somewhere that I bought the IOVC for six bucks while in the US. In some places it may not be so helpful. By our plan we’re reading Deuteronomy this week. The IOVC commentator starts out mired in initials, of the documentary-hypothesis type.

• Cracks in a foundation mean the house is in danger. So do we seek to remedy as soon as possible or let things go until the house falls in? Most in the church are opting for the latter, thinking to save many from grief. But they will be responsible for burying many a soul in the rubble of progressive doctrine.

#audio, #corollaries, #demographics, #evangelism, #progressives