When in New York...

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(Tim) What must a preacher in New York know in order to appeal to his listeners? How should he contextualize his worship services and sermons so they're on-pitch for Gothamites?

A recent article in The New York Times featured an interview with Sting. Knighting him their "Renaissance man," the Times caught up with him in his "sumptuous Central Park West duplex" where he was taking a break from his "Symphonicities" tour.

Referring to his nineteenth century aluminum double bass over by the piano, Sting indicated he plays it regularly: "one little piece of Purcell every day and that's it." Referring to a pair of chess sets on a coffee table, Sting reported he'd played grandmaster Gary Kasporov: "Of course he beat me every time. But you know, he can't sing."

The article concluded with Sting giving this sketch of New Yorkers...


"I have a feeling that all New Yorkers, no matter what they're doing, are in their own TV series with their own theme music, and you are merely a guest on their show. We're all celebrities in this town. I find it very comfortable."

New Yorkers, then, would seem to find preachers enamored with celebrity culture to be quite palatable to their taste. It's what New Yorkers do and who they are.

But if a shepherd came to them preaching as a dying man to dying men, would they find him unintelligible?

Maybe.

But then again, maybe not.