Vol. 2 - No. 6

June, 1983

"I Can't Write!"

by R. L. (Bob) Craig

The title of this article is not intended nor should it be so construed as a personal confession, though I am fairly well convinced that some might have that disposition toward what I write. Be that as it may, I have no inclination toward the retirement of my pen. What I do have in mind is the above stated confession from the lips of so many of my preaching brethren.

I know many gospel preachers who have excellent minds and produce weighty and thought-provoking lessons week after week both from pulpit, classroom chair, or radio, who, when approached about adding another dimension to their use of other media, exclaim, "I can't write!" I, somehow, just don't believe them. Perhaps their humility is working overtime and they are sincerely convinced that their literary efforts would be of little or no benefit to a reading and studying audience, even though I am sure they do not feel that way about their audible lessons. Perhaps they are like one fellow who told me, "When you put it in writing, it becomes a permanent record of what you say."

True statement, but, if one has presented what he believes to be truth, he has no qualms about it being a matter of record. Actually, I have learned some good lessons from myself by reading over what I had written down and which had sounded good when it was presented orally. But when I wrote it down and analyzed it, I found it to be false or at least questionable or a little weak, so I changed my teaching.

I have heard some of those same preachers exhort their brethren to do something and then rebuke them for their answer of "I can't." I am sure that there are many others, whom I have not heard, who have made similar exhortations and rebukes. We urge our brethren to "give it a try" and if you fail, "try again            and again." After all, that's what development, growth and maturity is all about.

Let me urge you who are reading this, if you are NOT a preacher, to urge the MATURE and THOUGHTFUL preachers with whom you are associated, to give all of us the benefit of a permanent study base concerning those good lessons they present from the pulpits and classrooms. When they just speak these things, they are immediately and forever gone, but, if they write them down, their good will be unlimited.

You MATURE preachers who are reading this, get out your pens and share your rich thoughts with the young, the old, the immature, and those who are intently interested in Bible knowledge. You have a storehouse of good things and after all, don't you exhort your brethren to "do good (spiritual good) especially to those of the household of faith."?

You YOUNGER preachers. Write an article. Look it over and throw it in the wastepaper basket. Now think concerning the exegesis of a scripture something you believe would actually benefit people. Now, write another article. Look it over closely. It probably needs to be filed in the same place, but, maybe not. Get someone you trust who will tell you the truth and ask them to read it and give you their candid opinion. If they praise it too much, watch out, because it is probably not that good. If they criticize it, don't get your feelings hurt and quit. After all, you were asking for criticism, not approval.

GOOD exegetical articles will do us all good --the writer and the reader. We are trying to get people to study their Bibles, and these good articles give them an insight and incentive and a good starting place.