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Showing posts from January, 2012

Ersatz Sermons

While reading a book produced in England about the history of rock & roll music, I kept coming across the phrase “ersatz albums,” as in “several ersatz albums followed their well-received debut.”

Given that the word was ubiquitous in the book I finally decided that I should look it up—kind of like the ubiquitousness of the word “ubiquitous”—it was everywhere, after all—forced me to finally look “ubiquitous” up one day.

My handy-dandy on-line Merriam-Webster dictionary informed me that “ersatz” is an adjective meaning “being a usually artificial and inferior substitute or imitation.” So, for example, chicory coffee is ersatz coffee or a suburban American house might be an ersatz Spanish villa or lots of national politicians are ersatz Reagans or Kennedys.

It occurred to me that we preachers are subject to the temptation to preach ersatz sermons. Our sermons may be ersatz in two main ways.

First, our sermons may be ersatz because we try to copy someone else’s style; our efforts, not b…