I have come up with a new theory: if the word of God was really to reach us, the communication would be so perfect and powerful and persuasive it would floor us; not just impress and overwhelm us, but blow us away. And the converse: any communication that purports to be of God that doesn't have that effect is so much claptrap.
A dodgy-looking flyer came through the door the other day showing on the cover a contemplative male & a contemplative female - both young and very good-looking. The guy could be praying, hands folded; the girl is sad. The text is:
Something is missing! We have the answer.
Having gotten over the flawed connection between those two statements, I turned to the back and at the very end discovered that it's the work of the Independent Baptist Churches. The folded pages inside are full of quotes from the bible saying we're all doomed unless we discover Jesus. The opener goes:
"Do you ever feel that there is something important missing from your life? A vital part of your existence that isn't there, and has never been there? An empty void and longing, deep within the depths of your soul, crying out to be filled? If you do not know the Lord Jesus on a personal basis, that is the problem."
Not only does this not blow me away, it is writing of such a poor quality that I can be very confident - based on my new theory - that God has had no hand, act or part in producing it.
Something is missing, indeed!