May 4, 2010 Matthew

Why Johnny Can’t Preach by T. David Gordon ★★★★★

411yqOuLXhLWow what an eye opener. I had mediocre expectations after checking this book out from the library, but after opening it and reading it, I was taken by surprise… this is a piece of gold. There are two specific reasons why your preacher stinks: Johnny can’t read and Johnny can’t write. Check it out to see what he means by that.

Notable quotes:

“A culture formely dominated by language (reading and writing) has become a culture dominated by images, even moving images.” p.35

“What kind of ministers does such a culture produce? Ministers who are not at home with what is significant; ministers whose attention span is less than that of a four-year-old in the 1940s, who race around like the rest of us, constantly distracted by sounds and images of inconsequential trivialities, and out of touch with what is weighty.

Our seminary curricula are largely identical to what they were around the First World War, but the entering seminarian is a profoundly different person than was the seminarian of the early twentieth century. Then, the individual was well read in poetry, and had studied nearly a decade of classical language (Latin, Greek, or both), learning by reading poetry and ancient languages to read texts carefully. He had written compositions almost weekly in many of his academic classes, and often wrote letters to friends and family. In contrast, the entering seminarian today has the faculties of a sixth- to eighth-grader sixty years ago, and the seminary curriculum cannot make this seminarian an adult by the time he graduates. p.68

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