– Malachi 3:16 (NIV)
So begins church historian J. Edwin Orr's classic book The Flaming Tongue.
Sound familiar? CNN's recent story, A Rough Decade for American Congregations certainly sounds like a rerun. And yet, Orr's opener was a segue to
"[Elisha] also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan. Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, 'Where is the LORD God of Elijah?' And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over. Now when the sons of the prophets who were from Jericho saw him, they said, 'The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.'" - II Kings 2:13-15a (NKJV)