Writing is a contested thing. Some people say it helps the brain relax or organize. Others find it stressful or un-necessary. Ernest Hemingway said, “The writer must write what he has to say. Not speak it.” I am not that kind of writer, but I do find myself tending toward writing in the exercise of my mind and the expression of my heart.
So here we go with Fledgling Fear #2:
If my first reason for reluctance to begin this blog was the threat of becoming prideful, my second reason was the fear of coming off as prideful. Who am I, after all, to be publishing my thoughts? What are my credentials? If this were merely an online diary for friends, these questions aren’t important. But this blog is intended to be more than a subjective and personal account of my little world. Don’t get me wrong. It will (and must) be a more or less subjective account (I haven’t yet found a way not to see things from my vantage point). And, I hope that it will also be increasingly personal. But of my little world? I feel like singing with Belle from Beauty and the Beast, “I want much more than this provincial life!”
Douglas Wilson, a pastor and writer from Idaho, recently made the following remarks. “We are living in a time when to speak a sure word, based on what God has said, is thought to be arrogant.” On the other hand, “to shrug your shoulders and make your own doubts, your own skepticism, your own questions the center of the universe is thought to be humble.” Many blogs on the web today, even many Christian blogs, are nauseating slues of self-centeredness. As if everything were new under the sun, bloggers trumpet their “novel” thoughts and, more importantly it seems, themselves as novelties for considering such thoughts. I pray this blog will be decidedly different. I pray it will be a happy source of sure words – words that are rooted in Scripture and typed in sincere, brotherly love. Sure words will doubtless sound high-handed to some (I can assure you they will not often, if ever, be novel), but in my own experience, it has been the sure, old word that brings sweet conviction and leads to life. I want this blog to serve and bless you, the reader, and this is the best way I know how.
Of course, by “sure words,” I do not mean that I intend to post only about things I think I understand completely (this would be a very empty blog in that case). I mean that I want to shy away from fruitless questionings and speculations that leave you (and me) without solid food for thought and a God-ward trajectory.
I begin my sophomore year at Bethlehem College (BCS) in less than 7 hours. I will be devoting much of my time over these next months to reading some of the most prominent thinkers in history. Some were godless, some were saints. All (except the prominent thinker, Jesus) were sinners like me. I’ve found there is much to learn from sinners.
“We are like dwarfs sitting on the shoulders of giants. We see more, and things that are more distant, than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature add to ours.” – John of Salisbury
I know I am not a giant. I stand on the shoulders of great men like Plato and Augustine (whom I’m reading at BCS) and my Papa (whom I’ve “read” since infancy). These men have helped equip me to think and speak and write.
And yet, though these men have equipped me, they have not compelled me to write about so “much more than this provincial life.” For this, I have read and am still reading the Bible, where I am told what I was made for.
“Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!'” – Isaiah 40:9