The story is told of a theological college in Sydney where a final year student prepared to preach to the students and faculty. It was many years back and it was the custom of faculty to critique the sermon afterward.On this particular morning the Principal of the college stands and says “Mr Jones would have done better to stand up this morning and say ‘I have no word from the Lord’ and then sit down again.”

I’m still not sure whether is truth or legend, and I don’t know what happened to John Jones, whether he went on to become a pastor. But I suspect that those were words of death in his ears every time he ever stood up to speak in public again. Certainly he may have needed critique, but not like that.

Scott Higgins

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