Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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"Truth in a 'Whatever' World"
by Tom Goodman
September 13, 2006

This Sunday I want to help you communicate truth to a “whatever” world.  Your friends are looking for someone with conviction, and slam poet Taylor Mali has found the words to express that longing.  Mali was popular on the opening seasons of HBO’s Def Poetry.  In his work, “Totally like whatever, you know?” he wrote:

     In case you hadn't noticed,
     it has somehow become uncool
     to sound like you know what you're talking about?
     Or believe strongly in what you're saying?
     Invisible question marks and parenthetical (you know?)'s
     have been attaching themselves to the ends of our sentences?
     Even when those sentences aren't, like, questions?  You know?

     Declarative sentences – so-called
     because they used to, like, DECLARE things to be true
     as opposed to other things which were, like, not –
     have been infected by a totally hip
     and tragically cool interrogative tone?  You know?
     Like, don't think I'm uncool just because I've noticed this;
     this is just like the word on the street, you know?
     It's like what I've heard?
     I have nothing personally invested in my own opinions, okay?
     I'm just inviting you to join me in my uncertainty?

     What has happened to our conviction?
     Where are the limbs out on which we once walked?
     Have they been, like, chopped down
     with the rest of the rain forest?
     Or do we have, like, nothing to say?
     Has society become so, like, totally . . .
     I mean absolutely . . . You know?
     That we've just gotten to the point where it's just, like . . .

     And so actually our disarticulation . . . ness
     is just a clever sort of . . . thing
     to disguise the fact that we've become
     the most aggressively inarticulate generation
     to come along since . . .
     you know, a long, long time ago!

     I entreat you, I implore you, I exhort you,
     I challenge you: To speak with conviction.
     To say what you believe in a manner that bespeaks
     the determination with which you believe it.
     Because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker,
     it is not enough these days to simply QUESTION AUTHORITY.
     You have to speak with it, too.

So true.  Our new sermon series is designed to help you discover Christian truth and share it with gentle authority.  Join us for the series, or listen online (iTunes or website).  I’m giving away my new book, The Anchor Course, to those who attend the series.  If you want copies for friends or relatives who cannot attend the series, we will have these available for $13 each.  You can also order copies online by clicking here.  To learn more about the book, go online to  You can read the introduction by clicking here.

Introduce me to the friends you bring this Sunday!


Important Notes:

Baptism This Sunday.  If you’re ready to follow Jesus in baptism, contact me.

Kilcoyne Commissioning Service.  Daniel and Tiffany Kilcoyne have been accepted by the International Mission Board as new missionaries to France!  We will have a commissioning service for them on Wednesday, September 20, at 6:30 p.m.  Join us!

Links to Your World

I liked the article, “Haunted By His Absence,” in Focus on the Family’s Boundless webzine.  It’s an article about growing up fatherless, written by Thabiti Anyabwile, the new pastor of my former church, First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman.
In the Baptist Press article, “ESPN reporter grateful for new birth,” learn about how Chris Mortensen found Christ.
Did you see, “Prayers for rain answered in West Texas – and how!”  It reports how reservoirs are overflowing one month after government officials called churches to pray.  The article is from the same journalist who earlier complained that most journalists referred to the prayer-for-rain story as “quirky.”
You’ll find more articles and commentary at my weblog, “Get Anchored,” including my reaction to Islam’s forced “conversions” and a study on the impulse so many have to literally “wash” away misdeeds.  To keep up with the weblog, sign up for e-mail updates or assign the RSS feed to your news reader.

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