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The consequence of a person diluting God’s Word with something that is attractive to the old Adam is disastrous. “A man gathers together an audience rather than a congregation. He replaces faith with religious interest.” One binds a man to something other than Christ, writes Giertz, who stresses that this is not meant as a judgment against “the many important attempts to reach those who from pure boredom or under the pressure of a secularized society do not come to hear God’s Word.”
Restlessness. Easily distracted by extraneous stimuli. Diffi- culty in sustaining attention in tasks. Frequent shifts from one uncompleted activity to another. Often talking excessively. Can symptoms attributed to Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) be characterized in the demeanor of a congregation?
Bultmann is inevitable. He was the theological progenitor of many and the bête-noire of still more. Knowledge of his writings is indispensable for understanding twentieth-century exegesis, whether of the synoptic gospels, John, or Paul. His seminar students included everyone from Ernst Käsemann to Hannah Arendt. He was the sometime friend and constant interlocutor of Heidegger and of Barth. Although a confessional Lutheran may bemoan this fact, he is one of the previous century’s most important theologians.