In an otherwise find sermon this past Sunday, the missions pastor pulled the etymological fallacy, and without even blushing referred to ekklesia (church) as “the called out ones” and proceeded to use it as a supporting point for his major point. Now, it didn’t ruin the sermon for me (not quite!), but it did annoy me. The word in fact, from its earliest use in Greek literature up to the end of ancient times never meant “called out ones” but always means something like “gathering” or “assembly” and in the NT, due to its usage in its several contexts, means what we now mean by “church” (church has that range of meaning really because it is so used to translate ekklesia). While his main points were all good, his foundation here was shaky, and shaky foundations are not a good thing. If a pastor really wants to make the point that the church consists of “called out ones” there are several passages in Scripture which may be used legitimately to do so. Don’t use a fallacy to illustrate a truth.