Preach, when necessary use wordle

I’ve been a little bit lax in my blogging this weekend. I spent yesteday being a husband, a spectator and a friend. I went shopping with my wife, went to the NQ Fury’s A-League debut, and then hung out with a friend as part of his bucks day.

I also did a bit of sermon tweaking. Here’s the resulting wordle from today’s sermon effort. I did use a few seconds of the binocular soccer video in my talk.

I think I was better this time than last time, though perhaps not as good as my best time. I was repetitive but with a little more creativity in my repetition…

Here’s how the video tied in (for the curious)…

The Pharisees are just like these Japanese soccer players – they’re running around trying to keep everything in equal focus. The big things and the small things. They’ve got no perspective. They’re swinging, and they’re missing. They’re keeping all the rules – but they can’t get the bigger part of the game right. They can’t hit the ball. They aren’t scoring any goals. They’re losing.

But they’re worse than the Japanese soccer players in that video. These guys are running the game. They’re the coaches and they’re strapping binoculars on everyone else. It ruins the game for everybody.

The heading, despite being an obvious reference to the graphical content of this post, refers to what I think is one of the great fallacies of modern evangelism. The idea of preaching solely by actions is nice, but fundamentally wrong.


Mark says:

Hey Nathan, what are you responding to with the “preaching solely by actions idea”, is it something you’ve recently encountered?

Nathan says:

I’ve encountered the statement a fair bit. And it’s never solely by actions – it’s more an ordo practicious. I made up the second latin word there… I think words should come first and should be backed with actions. Actions without words are a very poor evangelistic methodology.

Nathan says:

Because actions do not intrinsically imply motivation. A moral atheist is quite capable of acting the same way as a Christian putting their faith into action.

Mark says:

“ordo practicious” – class/order of works?

No question that words and actions belong together, but why must words precede action? Is it to provide context? That doesn’t necessarily have to come first. Being “ready to give a reason” in 1 Peter 3 could imply the opposite.

On the other side, I know that it’s often easy (and safe) to say nothing – but you’re still “ready” if someone asks. Perhaps speaking first helps set the bar for future engagement.

Nathan says:

It’s mostly a reaction to what I think is a bit of a cop out designed to appease those not comfortable talking.

Sure, talking is hard for introverts and actions will be easier – but actions without context are meaningless – and words give context to actions.

The order is wrong. The statement should be “preach always, by words and actions”…