Thursday, June 25, 2020

Chapter 9 Questions

Feeding the Soul: Week 9 The Use and Abuse of Good Books–Part IV Chapter 9

1.  How do I, or do I, attempt to hone my use of the English language?

2.  How do I, or do I, attempt to develop my ability to witness to others of my faith?

3.  How should I develop my ability to witness to my faith with the limits of the language I do possess and in light of the cultural issues before me today?

4.  What specific faith questions do I have that I need to answer in order to be able to more fully witness to my faith (i.e. Do I know what I believe, assuming I know Whom I believe)?

5.  What is God saying to me about this?


  1. I am well-educated, but it is very important to remember the education level of your audience. Overuse of big, flowery words is intimidating to an audience mostly comprised of adults with an average education level of high school graduate or less. A fancy word now and then to challenge them is good, however. The ability to converse with different people on their level is a valuable communication skill. If I choose to talk to someone about my faith, I try to remember that and talk to them accordingly. Chapter 9 discusses the timbre of the voice, diction, and delivery. I have visited at least a dozen churches in the last year. These are my experiences and my opinion only and not meant to offend anyone. It's just my preference. Higher-pitched, nasally voices are a turn-off, as well as those whose delivery is filled with too much dramatic flair and shouting. I even saw one pastor jump up and down on the platform and I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. I am also not a fan of overusing the words "Amen" and "Listen". Once in a while, it's okay. So when I talk to my peers, my friends, and my family about my faith, I try to talk to them on their level, with empathy, and in a sisterly/brotherly/motherly/fatherly loving manner.

    As far as the culture of today, I am still scratching my head on that one. I do pray for my secular friends and family. I still try to set an example by the life I lead. I think one of the hardest things I have had to accept is that not all my family and friends will be in the kingdom of Heaven.

  2. Thanks for this comment. I agree that those who are further educated than others need to guard our language carefully, lest we come off as pretentious. So too, I think that just as we can expand our linguistic capacity by understanding and making use of the local vernacular (without being pretentious) we can also utilize our witnessing to expand others' understanding of certain Biblical concepts. Church language, theological language, etc can be as much of a wall as a patronizing use of accent and simplification of language.

    Preaching style is certainly significant as well, and the jumping, shouting, freestyle can be just as much of a turn off as that of that monotone, soft spoken and tedious presentation of the gospel so evident in many mainline pulpits. I've sometimes suggested I night sooner forgive theological error than a lack of vitality.

    The other aspect of this that wasn't touched on in this chapter is the role of the Holy Spirit in our witnessing. We can only say so much, do so much, position ourselves and our hearers so much. The work of conversion is ultimately that of the Holy Spirit. So we are just scattering seeds, some of which will quickly grow get scorches and soon die, some of which will be trampled upon, etc.


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