Saturday, October 18, 2008
1) I have spent years taking classes in technical writing were the goal is to convey all the necessary information in as few words as possible. We were taught to write simply and clearly.
2) I often struggle to convey what I think and feel in words. I don't usually aim for eloquence. My aim is usually to be understood.
3) I appreciate eloquence in speakers and authors, but elegance in logic, argument, and design are far more appealing to me.
I don't think I had ever considered the benefits of eloquence (there are 5 that Piper discusses). I appreciated eloquence, but really hadn't thought much else about Christian eloquence. Eloquence isn't necessary. Christ is necessary.
But as I continue to study and practice engineering, my appreciation for beauty and elegance in design increases. In the same way I hope that as I continue to read and hear Christian speakers, my appreciation for eloquence will increase.
If you are going to read the article, you can skip the next paragraph. But if you weren't going read it, here is the conclusion.
"Yes, there is Christian eloquence. It is not the decisive factor in salvation or sanctification; God is. But faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word. That word in the Bible is pervasively eloquent—words are put together in a way to give great impact. And God invites us to create our own eloquent phrases for his name’s sake, not ours. And in the mystery of his sovereign grace, he will glorify himself in the hearts of others in spite of and because of the words we have chosen. In that way, he will keep us humble and get all the glory for himself. Amen." - John Piper
Sunday, October 12, 2008
The young adults retreat was blessed with BEAUTIFUL weather. I was really looking forward to a weekend of rest, fellowship, and teaching. We spent hours at the beach or playing games, and we spent hours in conversation.
The picture below captures a great moment during Catchphrase. =)
While I was on the retreat I got the chance to do a lot of reading. I hadn't gotten very far into Confessions by St. Augustine when I came across a sentence that really impacted me.
"So too let him rejoice and delight in finding you who are beyond discovery rather than fail to find you by supposing you to be discoverable." ~ St. Augustine, Confessions
It is kind of hard to explain what I was thinking, but I will give it a try.
I liked the statement and it reminded me of my personal testimony in a lot of ways, but I didn't really like the words "beyond discovery". The connotation seemed momentary, as if to say that God could not be discovered by a person, but looking at the larger context that is clearly not the meaning. I talked several people about the phrase and the knowabilitly of God. I consulted some other books when I got home and prayed for wisdom regarding the words of Augustine.
In the end I am able to rejoice in the fact that I am finite and God is infinite. I will never know everything there is to know about God, but I will continue to understand Him more as I worship and serve Him. It is by God's grace that I did not fail to find God because I wanted understand everything about God and the universe before having faith. I can know God but will never know everything about every aspect of God. These sorts of paradoxes fill the first chapters of the book. Augustine says about God that He is "deeply hidden yet most intimately present...immutable and yet changing all things". I am looking forward to reading the rest of the book and thinking about more of what Augustine had to say.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Last week there was a prayer meeting at church for the missionaries the church supports and specifically for Africa. Throughout the night I was listening to the men and women pray to our Lord with trust and faith. The prayers were bold and honest. It had been a difficult week for me leading up to the prayer meeting, but that time spent in prayer agreeing with my brothers and sisters in Christ was a beautiful time of fellowship with God. I was moved to tears several times by the prayers. The confidence I have in Christ and my love for Him should lead me to pray bold prayers, but I often don't pray this way.
Pray for Africa.
Pray that I would pray boldly and often.
Pray for the health of my grandfather (who I call Vovô Moa).