After a recent title bout someone asked Sugar Ray Robinson how far the knockout punch had traveled. “I don’t know,” asnwered the recrowned middleweight, “but he got the message somewhere!” The crack is not so classic as the champion’s left hook, but it has a future. It is made to order for all these talks about talking and should appear in a dozen commencement addresses.

Sugar Ray was only using the language of a communication-conscious age. Since our society is being reshaped by electronic means of communication, we cannot avoid the subject. With curious zeal, many people want to reduce everything to communication. Skeptics assure us that we have outgrown all talk about what is, and that we must be satisfied with the logical analysis of how we used to talk about it. T.V. surely demonstrates how much more we know about how than what to communicate!

The old liberalism believed that education would solve all problems. Today’s liberal has the same naive faith in communication. Communicate in print, at the conference table or on the psychiatrist’s couch, and conflicts will evaporate. The trouble is that the message, on delivery, is often a left hook to the chin!

Some preachers are far more ready to discuss communication than the Gospel to be communicated. The difference between heaven and hell becomes an exercise in semantics. By separating language from truth, men justify using expressions they no longer believe and at the same time deny that God can reveal his truth in human language.

Those who believe that God’s Word is truth need a new grip on “communication”—and revelation. But they must avoid the method of the wise man of Gotham, who decided he needed a better grip while hanging from a tree branch over the sea, ...

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