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Does Being Tech-Savvy Cripple Preachers?

A book review of 'Why Johnny Can't Preach'

Why Johnny Can't Preach: The Media Have Shaped the Messengers
by T. David Gordon
P&R Publishing, 2009

The 19th century literary wit Samuel Johnson noted that the thought of impending death tends to focus one's attention. "Depend upon it, sir," Johnson declared, "when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully." Author T. David Gordon cites Johnson's observation to explain the prophetic tone of this book. Written during an 11-month period in which the author was undergoing treatment for stage 3 colorectal cancer, Why Johnny Can't Preach reflects the urgency of someone who has an important warning to give and little time to waste. "Perhaps I should have stated the matter less directly (or titled the book less impishly)," Gordon admits, "but cancer only concentrated my mind; it did not necessarily lighten my attitude."

The problem of the church today, as Gordon defines it, is not the absence of great preaching but a dearth of competent preaching. "What ...

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