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Sunday, January 14, 2007

The best of all

Back sometime around December 2005, on the popular "Road We Travel" blog, the blogger wrote, "The IMB* is the most effective missionary organization with the most effective strategy in the history of Christianity. I am extremely proud of what we are doing and believe wholeheartedly in our staff and board."

I saved this as an illustration of a point. Many years ago an instructor of mine said that such superlative statements as "my association is the best association in the world" imply three things: 1. That I know all of the associations in the world. 2. That I have studied and compared them all. 3. That I am qualified to judge which is the best.

So if we apply this to the statement on "Road We Travel" -- "The IMB is the most effective missionary organization with the most effective strategy in the history of Christianity" -- it is implying: 1. That he knows every missionary organization in the history of Christianity. 2. That he has studied, compared and contrasted every missionary organization in the history of Christianity. 3. That he is qualified to judge which is the best.

I doubt he really meant all that, but was rather expressing his enthusiasm for what he is doing. We should all be careful to not make over zealous remarks that imply we know much more than we do.

* IMB = International Mission Board (of the Southern Baptist Convention)

3 comments:

Jim1927 said...

It sort of lines up with a statement I have repeated in a number of places: A student in college has all the answers. The preacher learns his first day in the field that there are more questions.

Cheers,

Jim

R. L. Vaughn said...

Jim, your comment reminded me of a statement I used to hear years ago: "Preachers are like wasps—biggest when first hatched."

clinch64 said...

Many times when an entity has large numbers, it's easy to become boastful.

Neil