From Fred Sanders:
Keith Green concluded his rant with, “I think the world is completely sick to its stomach with our sayings and ‘witnessing tools.’ It’s time for us to be expressing the truth with our lives, and then the whole truth of God with our lips!”
The only appropriate media for communicating the gospel are lives and words. Christians have to wrap themselves up in the good news of Jesus Christ, live that mystery together in the fellowship of the church, and give the world something worth seeing. And they have to explain it in the form of sound doctrine, explaining biblical truth, making the message clear as only words can. There is a strong temptation these days to seek refuge in the claim that “my life is my testimony,” as if a set of behaviors could take the place of preaching, teaching, witnessing, and the host of other verbal interactions the New Testament is about. But the gospel is wordy, just as it is lifey. It just isn’t very bumper stickery.
With words and lives in place, maybe there’s room for a slogan or a coffee cup or something like that. Perhaps, as long as we know that lives and words are what it takes to carry this particular message, we can have some doo-dads as well, as reminders or cues. Perhaps.
Or perhaps not. Watterson was worried that the very existence of these products would sap the power from the real thing; that a million Calvin window decals would make the Calvin comic strip harder to read. It’s possible that too many ineffective Jesus reminders all over the place might have a degrading effect on our ability to read Jesus where he really is. The only way to know if that’s the case is to know our message as well as Watterson knew his. Watterson could spot a deviation from the integrity and fullness of the Calvin and Hobbes mystique in an instant. Do modern Christians have senses so well trained, or a grasp of the gospel message so acute, that we can spot such deviations?
“When he emerged onto the world stage as a revivalist, it was partly because he had become rationally persuaded that the emotions were not being given their due consideration in religious life. Like his contemporary Jonathan Edwards, he was a man of reason whose reason told him he needed to cultivate his heart. He was smart enough to know that it’s not good enough to be smart enough.”
Excerpt From: Sanders, Fred. “Wesley on the Christian Life: The Heart Renewed in Love.” Crossway, 2013. iBooks.