In the chapter I just finished, Smith has critiqued the image-driven, multi-media hungry “stereopticon” tragedy of the modern evangelical church. He concludes:
…dependence on the great stereopticon and rejection of the “foolishness of preaching” deny the Word of God itself…. When the Word of God is faithfully preached, as in Jonathan Edwards’s day, it bears fruit.”
The point Smith misses is that if we are to be historically accurate to the Biblical tradition, we cannot merely go back to the Reformation fervor aided by the printing press. To be faithful to the Word of God to which he refers, we would have to go back to the first century, when even the literate had very limited access to reading materials.
The printed word, so prominent in Jonathan Edward’sday, was not at all the same printed word as in Jesus’ time. Perhaps I’ll learn differently by reading the rest of the book, but thus far I haven’t found Smith recognize that Jesus lived not only before video on demand, but also almost 1500 years before Gutenberg.