That’s Wasn’t The Plan . . . .

plan B
I titled this rhetorical technique —  “That Wasn’t The Plan.”

While listening to John Ortberg preach a message, my rhetorical mind was caught by how he framed an idea.  As is my bent, I thought – “What did he just do and say that caught my attention, and which I could quantify so that it could be duplicated — duplicated no matter what portion of Scripture I was working on?

One of the goals of identifying various rhetorical techniques is to help generate content.  At times a speaker or preacher will have the “bones” of a message, but it needs some meaningful “meat” added.  All too typically, the preacher begins adding references to other verses which contain the same ideas or words of the passage he is working on.

However, there are other and better ways to generate content.  As we have stated, there are various ways to generate that content — TOPOI- (The first one we delineated was — What It Is Not.

Topoi are mental constructs or templates that get us thinking directions which can generate content or arguments.

As Ortberg said this . . . .

 

 

(Audio Link @ 22-minute mark – John Ortberg – The Church on Monday Morning)

About a hundred years ago – there’s an old revival preacher named Billy Sunday – some of you may have heard of Bily Sunday.

Billy Sunday used to say that the best thing that could happen to you is – you go to one of his revivals – you get saved – you walk into this street – you get run over by a Mack truck and you go straight to Heaven.

That’s not exactly how Jesus laid it out. – okay – The “Get Saved & Quick Plan” was not option “A” – as Jesus talked about His plan.

He said our mission is to be Kingdom Bearers – to pray Our Father who art in Heaven Hallowed be thy name — may people come to realize what a glorious good person you are  – is what a name is about – the personhood of God – Your Kingdom come, You’re Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

We are to be Kingdom bearers . . . .”

 

 

When Ortberg said this, I immediately thought that this is a helpful “topos” for generating content.  We have to give it a name so that we can easily call it up when we are running through ways to build content  — “That Wasn’t The Plan.”

As you are working on a message, ONE (not the only topos) of the ways you can attempt to generate content, which can . . . .

  • clarify
  • explain
  • develop
  • contrast
  • illustrate
  • introduce the message
  • conclude the message

. . . . is by applying this mental template.  It may help, or you may have to run through some other topoi – mind generating topoi / templates.

 

The Mind Generating Template: 

√ In Short Linear Form, it goes like this . . . .

“That (whatever has just been described) is not exactly how it was meant to be by God.  What God intended was that . . . . .”

 

 

√ Ortberg’s Example:

“Billy Sunday used to say that the best thing that could happen to you is – you go to one of his revivals – you get saved – you walk into this street – you get run over by a Mack truck, and you go straight to Heaven.”

That’s not exactly how Jesus laid it out. – okay – The “Get Saved & Quick Plan” was not option “A” – as Jesus talked about His plan.

He said our mission is to be Kingdom Bearers –

 

√ In Expanded Broad Form

“Here is what . . . .

  • you see today
  • some of God’s people do
  • marks many a believer
  • is indicative of local churches today
  • the world does when it comes to
  • unbelievers think when it comes to
  • many believers conclude when
  • you find happening as to
  • this world’s answer to
  • people do when facing
  • etc.

But that’s not exactly how it was meant to be.  That is not the Lord’s . . . .

  • vantage
  • plan
  • take on it
  • teaching as to how
  • answer
  • conclusion
  • path / road / way
  • solution
  • thinking
  • Plan “A”
  • etc.

 

 



*A Simple Common Example: We have all done this.  We may have not consciously quantified it so that we could call it up purposefully.

i.e. — “This is where people go when facing these times of distress — they go to soothsayers (like Saul) — They distract themselves with amusements and activity.  Some chose destructive avenues.  Still others . . . . But that is not what God meant to happen.  That is not what He intended for us. . . . .  What He intended was that . . .

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