In the life of a pastor, it can be tempting to offer half-truths that make everyone happy and the pastor popular. Speaking difficult truths may anger or alienate church members, but authentic pastoral care sometimes requires it. How can those in ministry speak honestly in the inevitable awkward situations they face?
Here a wise and witty pastor-storyteller draws on his church life experiences over the past twenty-five years--including sermons, funerals, and board meetings--to offer nitty-gritty guidance on handling the uncomfortable situations that all pastors face. Utilizing humor and encouragement and speaking across denominational lines, Frank Honeycutt examines a variety of biblical contexts where the truth of Jesus is difficult to hear, but direly needed--especially in settings where half-truths are the norm. He shows pastors how to courageously speak the truth no matter the risk or cost.
Frank G. Honeycutt (DMin, Lutheran School of Theology, Chicago), a Lutheran (ELCA) pastor for twenty-five years, is senior pastor of Ebenezer Lutheran Church in Columbia, South Carolina. He is the author of many magazine articles and six books, including Preaching to Skeptics and Seekers and Sanctified Living.
Frank Honeycutt is one of our most able pastoral theologians and a master communicator of the faith. This fast-paced, engaging book tackles subjects that we mainline Protestant Christians have recently bypassed or neglected--subjects like sin, Satan, lying, and truth telling--and discusses them against the backdrop of Frank's generous theology of God's active, amazing grace.
author and bishop of the United Methodist Church, Birmingham (Alabama) Area
The Truth Shall Make You Odd is a book for clergy but also for any Christian who wishes to delve into the complexities of belief. Frank Honeycutt is a gifted writer and a man of immense wisdom.
-Ron Rash, novelist; Parris Distinguished Professor in Appalachian Cultural Studies, Western Carolina University
Books that call for the rejection of half-truths and outright lies are prone to be judgmental, insufficiently self-critical, and in any case, deadly serious. Frank Honeycutt's wonderful book is none of these. He reads the Bible with a novelist's attentiveness, theological acumen, and a well-tuned sense of humor, directed first of all at himself. Any book about 'speaking the truth in love' (Ephesians 4:15) needs to make sure that it practices what it commends; Honeycutt succeeds by preferring the winsome word to the cudgel of correction.
associate professor of systematic theology, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
Finally, a book that addresses the dirty little secret of the half-truths and untruths told by ministers to their members from baptismal font to graveside. From a seasoned pastor willing to expose his own struggles with integrity comes a book that provides both scriptural backbone and practical instruction in pastoral truth telling. This book has convicted me, taught me, and encouraged me. And that's the truth.
pastor, Faith Lutheran Church, Lexington, Kentucky
"Frank Honeycutt is unflinchingly honest and willing to be as odd as the title of his book. He dares to begin with serious talk about the devil and is equally serious about conversion--how long it takes versus how easy we try to make it. He's passionate about the church's calling 'to assist the Holy Spirit in forming disciples,' which is not the same as becoming a member of a particular congregation. This book could only be written by a pastor who has been willing to speak truthfully and be honest about when he has failed. Honeycutt's insights are shaped by many years in different parishes and by his deep engagement with the world beyond the church. His writing is a gift honed by years of conversing with poets and novelists who not only love words but are unabashedly honest about life. He moves from the hospital room to the church council meeting and into a surprising biblical story without calling attention to the movement. If you're willing to 'let go of counting and focus on real disciple-making,' Frank Honeycutt is the conversation partner you've been waiting for.
-Barbara K. Lundblad,
Joe R. Engle Professor of Preaching, Union Theological Seminary, New York