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Tania Harris

March 19, 2014  4:40pm

As a Gen-X-er I share a lot from my own experience in teaching people how to hear God's voice (the basis of my ministry). It's always been my style apart from trends. The most common response to my preaching is that, "After today, I realise that I CAN hear God's voice." Authenticity powerfully makes spiritual experience accessible to others. Having said that, I completely agree with you Tony about the distortions to authenticity you've mentioned. When authenticity becomes a rhetorical device used for it's own ends we're in trouble! In fact the list you've given here makes me feel a little sick in the stomach, and I think listeners would be able to pick up on them!

Jofre Perez

March 19, 2014  4:17pm

In a civilization that we live in, is there really such thing as authentic..? Nowadays much of our speaker, lecturer or motivator in most church seminar, training, or even conferences trained for this kind of craft and they do make it really impressive that the hearer accept just about every word. On the other hand, what makes it authentic if he/she made their speech perfect to the point that it wasn't even coming from their heart, and it's all about their poise or their material they're promoting. We lost anointing in teaching and preaching nowadays, instead we like good, impressive, sharp, eloquent speaker. When I say anointing, I meant words from the Word that will cut thru our hearts, that we'll be taking action in our wrong doing and there will be change taking place in our lives.

Marshall Shelley

March 19, 2014  11:39am

Thoughtful material, Tony. It seems that this leads us to constant self-monitoring of how (we think) we are being received. Must I really be always self-aware? Can I not allow myself to be so enraptured by the subject, by the Scripture, by the truths I'm trying to present, that I am un-self-conscious? (Or do people not think that's possible anymore?) Anyway, that's my response to these "layers of personal authenticity."

joseph anfuso

March 18, 2014  12:40pm

I'm most susceptible to the "vulnerable straw man" approach. Sharing truths that in times past have provided a degree of victory over personal struggles/demons is fine. But giving the impression that you've totally overcome these struggles--i.e. that you've "arrived"--is unauthentic. Good insights, Tony.


March 18, 2014  11:23am

Nice article, really speaks to the responsibility teachers and speakers must constantly be aware of and I think helps those who do not teach understand the cost these men and women have willfully taken on. These acts of communication seem to require a constant evaluation of personal motives and "actual"goals. The demons of our self-aggrandizement must be kept at bay by prayer, self-reflection, and involvement in communities of virtue. I suspect we should also ask ourselves whether we are mere sophists, or "true" philosophers and attempt to cull the artificial techniques from our presentations...or perhaps even question the current mediums through which we try to teach. Very thought provoking article.

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