Posts Tagged ‘Gospel’

Word Images of the Gospel

Monday, December 13th, 2010

I’m a visual/kinesthetic learner. As a visual learners I learn best by seeing information. So to discover insights into something, I’m always looking for a way to picture information. A word cloud is one way to do this.

A word cloud gives greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the data being examined. So the more frequent a word appears in the text, the larger it appears in the word cloud. This allows one to quickly see main ideas, subjects or thoughts based on the words used.

I recently created word clouds (below) for the gospel according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

It’s interesting to see commonality, as one would expect, but also the uniqueness of each.

Matthew

gospel of matthew word cloud

Mark

gospel of mark word cloud

Luke

gospel of luke word cloud

John

gospel of john word cloud

Static

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

“The Ooze” Select Blogger Book Review

“Static” by Ron Martoia (Tyndale, 2007) is one of those books that will speak to the person who already knows the truth the author is working to relate and to those who have never explored this ground. For the former, it will refresh and invigorate the concepts. For the latter, it will open a whole new door of understanding.

So what is this book about? Its about how the words many Jesus followers use to describe their faith often shuts down spiritual conversation instead of enhancing it. Our language creates ‘static’ and the author want us to learn to tune out the ‘Christian noise’ so both the Jesus follower and the not-yet-Christian can experience the real message of Jesus.

Although the style used in the book to communicate the message is not my favorite approach, it is effective. It takes the form of an ongoing dialog between the author and Jess and her husband Phil. Phil has been “sharing” with a Marty, a coworker. Seems Marty is now avoiding Phil and Phil can’t figure out why.

In the 241 pages, Martoia does a tremendous job exploring the language Phil and most Jesus followers use when talking with not-yet-Christians. Ron attempts to answer questions like “Why do people tune out the Christian message? Why are the words we use turning people off from the real message of Jesus? What if these words are causing misunderstandings about Jesus? What if we haven’t heard the whole story?”

To give you a taste, let me leave you with this line of thought from the book.

Martoia asks, “How many people do you know today who go around with feelings of guilt over their sin, over missed obligations, over offending God?”

Most people in our post Christian western world who are not followers of Jesus simply find no connection with the idea that they are sinners in need of a savior and therefore don’t connect with our “gospel.” “That doesn’t mean they are accurate in their self-assessment, but it does explain why they have moved on to other conversations,” say Martoia. Further, the author explains why Jesus dying on the cross for our sins so that we can go to heaven doesn’t even reflect the story that people in the first century would have understood when explaining the word gospel.

What’s the answer? You’ll have to read the book, but as Chuck Smith Jr. writes, Martoia guides “us back through original language in its original setting [and] brings us to a gospel that is a divine newsflash, as compelling today as it was in the first century.”

For those who read and enjoy Scot McKnight, you will also like this book. You can hear the echo of Scot throughout, who, not surprising, Ron credits as a major influencer.

Highly recommend.

Any of you read this book yet? If so, what was your take?