All have seen

All the ends of the earth
have seen the salvation of our God:
sing joyfully to God, all the earth. – Psalm 98:3

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The King's English: Sackcloth and Ashes

Jonah mosaic at St. Anne Melkite Church
Glen Scrivener writes over at The King's English:

Could Jonah be the most successful evangelist in the Bible?  In Hebrew the report of his sermon consists of 5 words.  And yet, in response, the 120 000 residents of Nineveh cover themselves in sackcloth and ashes and turn to the LORD.

Throughout 2011, Glen Scrivener has been calling our attention to various English language expressions which are largely due to the influence of the 1611 Authorized Version or "King James" Translation.  A delightful project indeed - allowing us not only to contemplate the beauty of the English language, but also important bits of theology and history which have since become obscured by many intervening layers of ideological sediment.  His blog is called The King's English.

This latest blog posting caught my attention in particular because of its appropriateness for the Anglican Communion today.


David V said...

I supposed it all comes down to how we measure "success"? Conversion? Discipleship? Book sales? The mind reels...

James said...

Interesting thought, David. I have often wondered at how persons measure "success." Billy Graham was rather exemplary in this regard - he wanted to know what life was like for those who had made altar calls at his various evangelistic meetings. I lived in Taiwan for a year ... and his staff came to Taiwan a number of years after one of those meetings, and they found: very, very few of those who had come forward claiming to commit their lives to Christ, had begun attending churches. There had been work done to inform these people of churches in the area ... but that wasn't enough.

I believe his "success" ... when measured in people having become actual members of Christian communities ... was much better in other areas, where better work had been done in connecting people to local congregations in their area.

This is, in my humble opinion, an area where Christians still need to do a lot of work ... working together in helping people, instead of a lot of "solo ministry," and isolated ministry work in relatively unconnected churches.