(SHNS) Terry Mattingly—Taking a look back at Titanic sermons from 100 years ago

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For the preachers of 1912, Titanic was the ultimate symbol — not of the past, but of modernity and the dawn of a century in which ambitious tycoons and scientists would solve most, if not all, of humanity's thorniest problems.

The liner was, in other words, a triumph of Darwinian logic and the march of progress. Its sinking was a dream-shattering tragedy of biblical proportions.

The events of April 14-15, 1912, are the "closest thing that we have to a modern-day Bible story," according to Douglas Phillips of TitanicSociety.com, in an essay saluting those who went down with the ship. "Everything about Titanic was larger-than-life: her conception, her launch, her sins, her heroes and her judgment. ...

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchHistoryMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyAnthropologyEschatology

2 Comments
Posted April 14, 2012 at 4:00 pm

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1. MichaelA wrote:

Many blues and spiritual singers saw the Titanic in the same way.  Blind Willie Johnson was 15 when it went down.  His songs weren’t recorded until 1927.  This was one of them, which presumably he wrote not long after the tragedy:

“God moves on the water”
Year of nineteen hundred and twelve, April the fourteenth day
Great Titanic struck an iceberg, people had to run and pray
God moves, moves, God moves, ah, and the people had to run and pray

The guards who had been a-watching, asleep ‘cause they were tired
When they heard the great excitement, then a gunshot was fired
God moves, moves, God moves, ah, and the people had to run and pray

Captain Smith gave orders, women and children first
Many of the lifeboats piled right up, many were liable to crush
God moves on, God moves, God moves, ah, and the people had to run and pray

Ahh-ah
So many had to leave their happy home, all that they possess
Lord Jesus, will you hear us now, help us in our distress
God moves, God moves, God moves, ah, people had to run and pray

Women had to leave their loving ones, see ‘bout their safety
When they heard the liner was doomed, hearts did almost break
God moves, God moves, God moves, ah, and the people had to run and pray

A.G. Smith, mighty man, built a boat that he couldn’t understand
Named it a name of God in a tin, without a “c”, Lord, he pulled it in
God moves, ah, God moves, God moves, ah, and the people had to run and pray

April 15, 12:19 am | [comment link]
2. Adam 12 wrote:

I wonder if the ship had gone right down, rather than lingering, if it would have continued to be remembered with the same intensity a hundred years later. So much of the story revolves around how the passengers, from different classes, etc., reacted.

April 15, 8:59 am | [comment link]


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