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Preach the Gospel, If Necessary Use….Wait…When is it NOT Necessary to Use Words?!

I was thinking about that oh-so-popular saying, “Preach the gospel – if necessary use words.” I started a little dialogue in my mind between “Evangelical,” “Liberal,” “Deist” and “Normal Pewsitter.” Before I new it, I had a full-blown conversation between “Suzy Spiritual” and “Evan Gellico” going on…I made a little fake facebook conversation to illustrate the tensions inherent within this phrase, to test out what I think are some common threads of thought on contemporary issues, and to get people thinking about the true nature of the gospel.

You can read it here (can’t seem to copy it)

Not sure whether it was a good use of time, but it was kind of fun. Let me know if you enjoy it enough for me to do something like this again!


  1. Hi Josiah,
    Last Christmas I received a calendar as a Christmas gift, every month there is a differnet quote that was posted on Church bulletin board. For February the quote was “Preach the Gospel use words if necessary”. It had been under my nose for 29 days. Something bother me about that quote. My son told me that it is often attributed to Francis of Assisi. I was tempted to modify the phrase this way: “Preach the Gospel use words IT’S necessary. My Biblical basis would be Romans 10:17(GW) “So faith comes from hearing the message, and the message that is heard is what Christ spoke.”

    • Yes, I thought of that quote because of your calendar. Hadn’t given much thought to that quote before – it seems good enough. But yeah – how will they hear without a preacher Rom. 10:14? If we never use our words, if we’re just nice, are we really preaching the gospel? I don’t think so. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God Rom. 10:17…so if we are silent, but nice, we are not preaching the gospel.

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