Sunday, June 21, 2015

Psalm 23

The first and most important thing to know about this Evangelical Tract Distributors offering, titled Psalm 23 (A Friend That Goes With Me), is that it does not mention Psalm 23 at all. The cover, with a nice photo of a church in front of a field, is the only place that title appears.

There are other Psalms on the inside - this is a Scripture-quote tract, with six quotations and a brief write-up on what they are supposed to mean. We have Psalm 84:11. We have 68:19. We even have Psalm 145:1 - 10. But Psalm 23? Nope.

With a gaffe like that, you'd think the author would want to remain anonymous. Nope again. His name is David Buttram (no, I am not making the obvious joke here, I have some standards), and it is printed right there on the cover under the titular Psalm that this tract is not about.

So the title is off. What about the lines of Scripture (and David's write-ups of them) on pages 2 & 3? Nothing terribly interesting or new. "Even though the world surrounds me with temptation, danger and death," he writes, "I feel safe and secure because of His watchful care over me." Apparently that's what Psalm 32:7 and 34:4 mean.

"I know the evil one is trying to follow me," he says, "but God is following even closer." And as awesome as God is, "I know this is only a taste of the future He is preparing for me." So God will keep you secure and safe from the evil one, and will make your life fantastic. Sounds nice, but we have to take David's word for it. And since the guy can't even title his tracts properly, well...

"Would you like to have this Shepherd living in your life?" David asks, before presenting the Sinner's Prayer on the back page. This is the first time he's mentioned a Shepherd, apart from quoting "The Lord is my shepherd" right at the beginning. One assumes the animal wrangler he's referring to is God, then. Odd, though.

Heck, the whole thing is odd. Too odd to convert anyone, I would say. Scripture-quote tracts assume that Bible verses are relevant to your life. If they aren't, they sound nice but have little power. Certainly not persuasive power.

You're getting very low marks on this one, David Buttram (still not making the joke, I'm above that!). Nice cover image, but that's the nicest thing I can say for it. A trip back to tract-writing school would seem to be in order, Mr. Buttram, because if this is your best effort, you can crumple it up and ram it in your butt.

...couldn't resist.

Psalm 23
Likely to Convert - 1
Artwork - 4
Ability to Hold Interest - 1
Unintentional Hilarity - 1
Level of Disturbing or Offensive Content - 1

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