Vol.VIII No.I Pg.2
March 1971

Cultivating Oddities

Robert F. Turner

An old professor, a scientific genius, absent-mindedly worked on an equation at a banquet. He heard none of the speeches honoring him. It was thoughtless and people noticed it. Yet in deference to a great man, they overlooked his inconsiderateness. A young admirer watched the professor and mimicked him. He missed the point of greatness and cultivated being absent-minded and inconsiderate of people.

It is a common blunder. It was not thoughtlessness that made the professor great. Dedicated work made him an exceptional man in spite of being thought- less. Oddities — being so obvious — are often emphasized and cultivated. Genuine virtues are not dramatic and are often overlooked.

Legends of the pioneer preachers reveal the same problem. Their jokes, pranks, and personal peculiarities endure and are constantly retold. It is sad that some of the most dedicated men are remembered only for their jokes and stunts. Young preachers get the idea that such was what made them great preachers. Far from it. Their quirks were tolerated because of the good work they did. We forget the undramatic but sound teaching, the selfless sacrifice, the midnight oil burned in study, and a genuine love for souls. These things make great preachers. Enlarging oddities distorts proper perspective. Remember, you can be an odd ball without being a great man. There are more absent-minded dunces than absent-minded geniuses. There are lots of rude, prank-pulling, and otherwise weird preachers who have nothing else to offer.

Come to think of it, a man does not even have to be odd to be great. All geniuses are not absent-minded. An exceptional preacher does not have to be a nut of some sort. Being a peculiar people does not require Christians to become a clan of kooks. It is rather a people who belong to God and are dedicated to his service. (Note ASV —a people for Gods own possession 1 Pet. 2:9). We will all have oddities enough without cultivating them. Joe Fitch


Reports from Robert indicate that the meeting work in Australia is producing fruit. We will have some reports in Plain Talk when Robert gets home. Pray the Father for his safety and success.


This issue of Plain Talk begins the eighth year of publication. It is still sent free to all who request it. We try to make it worth reading.