Wednesday, October 7, 2015

our Poor Way of Writting

There has been an article recently published on Reformation 21 that affected me:

Because words now remain in a web of communication (on the web and in print), their power is preserved, for better or worse. We can offer others the meaning we have found, the control we have been given to use words wisely, and our personal presence in the unique structures and patterns of our prose. But that means we can also offer ambiguity, impotence, and absence. Poor prose can actually be an anti-type of communication reflecting the Trinity. That is why poor prose is not just poor prose; it's poor theology.

    The article argues that to write poorly is to write poor theology. To the extent that we profess true religion, we should also reflect our view of God in how we write. So the prose that we write should have clarity and personality. And it should be readable to the public at large.

    But no writer lives up to the standards that these theologians set up for us. These standards show how bad we are in explaining to our audience what we are trying to give them through our words. One is a good theologian, if he recognizes the limitations of us prose writers.

    Our God demanded perfection from his Son when he worked, and his words were hardly ambiguous or weak. And he also demanded perfection from his disciples who were off their targets when they spoke about him. (Matt.16:22, Mark 9:38) So these standards just kill us when we try to write.

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