Concerning witty phrases: How much of that is natural giftedness and how much of it is developed skill?

I [Adrian Rogers] am not as aware of the fact that I do that as other people are. Sometimes people will say to me, "Do you realize what you do?" Yet, on the other hand, I am honestly thinking always of better ways to say something – to say it with a bargain so it will stay and won't pull back out real easily.

Being that way is both learned and natural, because if I hear somebody say something, I say, "I like that," that will stick in my mind, and it may not be mine when I repeat it, but they'll think it's mine because I heard it and I'll say it again. It's just something that I borrowed from someone. Not in the sense of plagiarism, it's just that there's a line where you are just the sum total of all… you’re milking a lot of cows and churning your own butter. On the other hand, you don't steal somebody else's butter. You have to find out where that line is.

I think it's both being aware of how you say something, and listening to how others say it. I think I'm a combination of that. Sometimes that can get in the way. Sometimes you get too cutesy when you're preaching and you draw attention to yourself, rather than the message you're trying to get across.

I do think that we ought to be lovers of the English language. Let's not take away from all the Greek and Hebrew scholars, because I'm certainly neither one of those, but I would like for man to know the English language because that's the one he preaches in. Also, I would like for him to know the English Bible, so that he can communicate, because many of us are answering questions nobody is asking.

This question and answer came from a Doctoral Colloquium session with Adrian Rogers and several Doctoral Preaching candidates in 1997.

To read some of Adrian Rogers' witty phrases, visit our Adrianisms page.