Preaching, the Internet and Half-Truths?

Of course it’s true—I found it on the internet! How much confidence do those words inspire in you?

My son found a sales position on the web a couple weeks ago. When he went in for the interview a couple days later, the “interviewer” tried to make him buy $250 of knives so that he could do a better job selling them. He walked out. I’m cautious about what I find on the internet.

On Friday a friend showed me a recipe on the internet for making a red, white and blue soft drink. What could be cooler for the 4th of July! However, call me “Doubting Benjamin.” Could it actually work? Doubting Benjamin went to the grocery store and bought the ingredients. Voila! Yup, some things on the internet are true!

Do preachers publish falsehoods on the internet? What if you don’t know what’s true?

Through the month of July, I’m preaching through the first three chapters of Ephesians. The series is “1st Base…2nd Base…3rd Base…Home: Learning from Baseball and Saint Paul.” I say all that because of my internet challenge for preaching Sunday on “1st Base: It’s All About Jesus.”


In homiletics class back in 1985, I heard this amazing story that compared missing Jesus to not touching 1st base. Thanks to the internet, I was able to find the story. According to the internet, in the 7th game of the 1924 World Series, the New York Giants and the Washington Senators were tied in the 9th inning. The Giants failed to score. The Senators had two outs when Goose Goslin came to bat. He knocked the ball to the outfield fence, and the outfielder chased the ball down and threw it to the infield. Goslin slid into home, missing the catcher’s tag or knocking over the catcher—depending on which account you read. The hometown crowd was ecstatic until the umpire threw his thumb in the air and shouted, “Out! He never touched 1st base!”

It’s a great story—but is it true? You can find several versions of the story written by pastors, including by D. James Kennedy. (Paste the following link into an address bar.)
http://www.truthinaction.org/sermon/IN THE LAST DAYS_100816.pdf

However, I cannot verify the story from anywhere on the web other than preachers. Is Goose Goslin’s lost home run fact, or is it myth? I preached with the story on Sunday…after confessing that it might not be true.

It was excruciating to dance around the lack of authentication about Goose Goslin! I can’t imagine what it is like preaching for those who understand the Bible’s miracles as myth.

If you can verify or disprove Goose Goslin’s lost home run, I would love you to leave a comment.

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About Ben Unseth

Executive Director at Project Understanding (2014-2017), social service agency in Ventura, CA
This entry was posted in Bible, communication, culture, sports and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Preaching, the Internet and Half-Truths?

  1. Uncle Nathan says:

    I consider myself a power-Googler, and my results were the same. Only some ‘Christian’ sites contain this story. It’s very likely a myth. As is the oft-used sermon/book illustration comparing the descendants of preacher Max Jukes to ne’er-do-well Max Jukes. Turns out that there’s a great deal to doubt in this tid-bit of alleged history.

  2. Ben Unseth says:

    I think that you mean the comparison of the descendants of Jonathan Edwards and Max Jukes. The following link presents evidence against the Edwards-Jukes story:
    http://rfrick.info/jukes.htm

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