Friday 22 May 2009

Francis of Assisi on Using Words When Necessary… Or Not

Mark Galli, ‘Speak the Gospel: Use Deeds When Necessary’ (Christianity Today, 21 May 2009).

‘Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary, use words.’

Allegedly an exhortation of Francis of Assisi, this is perhaps one of the most overused quotations currently doing the rounds.

Mark Galli offers a short piece arguing – what many have thought for a long time – that Francis didn’t say it or live it, and that its popularity says much more about the sensibilities of the present culture and age than about much else. He writes:

‘Of course we want our actions to match our words as much as possible. But the gospel is a message, news about an event and a person upon which the history of the planet turns.’

‘How are they to call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?’ (Romans 10:14)


Brett Jordan said...

But he did preach to the little birdies, didn't he? Don't steal that one from me :-)

Antony said...

Yes... that’s right, Brett, and iccul fluffy bunny wabbits as well...

ConradGempf said...

It seems to me that there are three things to say about this.

3. Thanks.