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Dry Rot and Worms in the Church

An English vicar with his mind on decaying buildings announced one day that the offertory about to be taken would be devoted in its entirety to the extermination of dry rot in the pulpit and worms in the pew. Inadvertently he had touched a nerve. Not infrequently the rot in the pulpit is so dry that it causes the people to wriggle wearily through the dark, subterranean passages of thought without any real direction or hope of arrival.

Whether the problem be worms in pews or owls on tombstones, we need to ask, "How is it possible for a message as electrifying as the Christian gospel to be presented in such a way that it is greeted with something less than euphoria and responded to with something less than enthusiasm?"

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