“We live or die, as God’s new people, by our ability to listen to these texts without killing the preacher for speaking them.”
--William Willimon

the number of persons from whom most of us will accept straight, unvarnished counsel was never large, and is professionally limited: the doctor; the guy who fixes our brakes; the calm voice at the other end of the Poison Control Hotline; our tax preparer.

The few individuals to whom we will listen with some high probability of believing what they say and doing as they recommend are almost all of them unsurprisingly connected with our desire for safety. We don’t argue with the physician who notices the golf-ball-sized mass on the X-ray and recommends further tests. We don’t quibble with the advice that urges, “Drink milk: Do not ... »

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