It's been awhile since I've written as I had serious comp problems but now I'm finally able to write again
and I'd like to say a few words about.....well......words.
We see them everyday. Listening to the radio last Sunday
I recall hearing someone say that the average person receives 8,000 messages per day. I decided to count leaving the church
parking lot and stopped quickly. Every sign out there had a message. Granted, some didn't have words but a lot of them did.
you've heard someone skeptical of the Christian faith use this line. "Why did God just leave us a book?" I think that's a
fair question (Although I'd say he left more than a book such as general revelation and the revelation of Christ) but I also
think that the answer clues us into some of the great mysteries of God.
Let's look into some things about words first.
Words do convey information. Francis Schaeffer talks about how he was asked to witness to a young man most people were having
a hard time with because every two minutes he would stop whoever was witnessing and say "I don't think we are communicating!"
is with him and the young man gives this mantra again. Looking around, Schaeffer sees a pot of tea and some glasses and says
"Give me some tea!" The young man stops and complies hurriedly and Schaeffer responds and says "I believe we are communicating."
The conversation went on well.
Words do have meanings. When people say things we generally understand what they mean.
Granted I've gone into philosophical discourses where people end up saying "huh?" but they knew the words I was saying meant
something. In fact, this is only possible with the Law of Noncontradiction. If the Law of Noncontradiction isn't in play,
any word can mean anything.
But we know words have meaning. When you read this email you are understanding (or trying
at least) to understand the words I am saying and assume that each word I say has a particular meaning I want to imply. Thus,
the first thing I'd like to say about words is that words convey information.
The second thing is that words have the
power to heal or destroy. No. I'm not talking about Word of Faith stuff which is heresy. I'm talking about what we all know.
How many of you have heard that saying "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me."? It sounds good
but most of us know from experience that it isn't true.
I recall being in a PALtalk chat on the microphone speaking
some time ago when the issue of limited atonement, a Calvinist doctrine, came up. I got to the mike and started referring
to Norman Geisler's work "Chosen But Free." where Geisler shows that Calvin himself didn't believe in limited atonement.
was stunned by the response. One in there who said he was a minister and had preached on James 3 that Sunday instantly said
"Dot this clown." Now the problem I saw was not disagreement. The problem was the contradiction I saw. If you remember James
3, James tells us that blessing and cursing can't come from the same spring. I was dotted so that I couldn't speak and then
I left quickly.
We've all met someone like that and we all remember when we see some people the words of destruction
they gave. However, we also remember words of healing. We know the people that compliment us on the things we do well and
when we are having a bad day are there to encourage us. So secondly, words do have the power to heal and destroy.
I'd like to suggest that words have permenance. At his website of AOmin.org, James White has several articles responding to
Roman Catholicism. He talks to one who insists that 2 Thess. 2:15 when speaking about the traditions the apostles taught refers
to oral traditions that were taught and are mandatory today.
White responds with some problems of this view and then
asks if we have but one written word of what the apostles taught that was "tradition." The response is that we don't. The
obvious question then is, "How can we know that this is what they taught?"
This is one reason I trust Sola Scriptura.
Words have permenance. When I was on AOL debating atheists I used to collect the wildest things they said and then saved it
in a "keeper" section. It was always good for a laugh to review those. Words that are written down have a certain permenance
to them. You can forget what someone says audibly at times but when it is written, you have something to refer to.
do I have any point to all of this? Of course. Those who know me know I don't go into a large discourse like this without
a point. In the Greek, we have two main words for "word." One we probably all know instantly is Logos. This is the famous
word from John 1:1. The other is Rhema. This is where the Word of Faith college, Rhema Bible Institute, gets its name from.
start with Rhema. I like this word really. It refers to an utterance. This is how God is said to have spoken the world into
existence. He used a rhema. How many times have we pictured God at the beginning and hearing him say "LET THERE BE LIGHT!"
But could it be that it wasn't this big thundering voice but that God just created with a whisper and into the void of nothingness
spoke "Let there be light!"
For God, it is a mere utterance that changes things. It was the still small voice that
Elijah heard that changed him and I am not endorsing a belief where we are to listen for the still small voice of God today.
I don't believe hearing the voice of God is a practice that we are to do in the NT. In fact I see just the opposite but that
is for another day.
The point is that God's words have such power that for him it is a mere utterance. God whispers
and creation is the result. The amazing cosmos we see all around us is the result of the word from God. His word goes out
and does not return void as Isaiah told us.
But this second word we know much better. This is the logos. It is where
we get our word logic from. Now think of all the ways John could have begun his gospel. In the beginning was Jesus. In the
beginning was God. In the beginning was the Messiah. In the beginning was the Son. He chose "In the beginning was the Word!"
Vine's dictionary starts off the definition of logos with "The expression of thought." While there is a lot of Greek philosophy
behind that it is accurate. John often used words with double-meanings. This one would have brought to mind for the Greeks
the Platonic thought of perfection. The Stoics believed it was the divine force that held the universe together.
as for the Hebrews, Philo had written much about the logos. To him, it was a second deity. We know Philo was a great fan of
Plato also as he is recorded to have addressed him as "Most holy Plato." For Philo, the logos represented the very wisdom
of God also. But yet, there is something else about this logos. This logos is personal.
When we read of the logos,
we see it defined as he. We also see the logos as being God but also being with God. With shows us that there is a distinction.
While it might be true that this verse could best be used to prove the deity of Christ, proving that does get us on the road
to the Trinity.
The logos is later on described in terms that referred to the Shekinah glory. This was the cloud that
travelled with the Israelites in the wilderness and filled the temple. Ezekiel looked and saw the Shekinah glory leaving the
temple. He knew then that God had departed from Israel.
So what do we have in the Logos? The Logos is the expression
of thought of the mind of God. The logos is personal. The logos is wisdom. The logos is the Shekinah. The logos is the glory
of God. The logos is the second deity. Put these all together and you have the picture of Christ.
Christ then is God's
greatest revelation of us. A professor at the college I attend has made the point that in Hebrews 1 it could be said that
in these last days God has chosen to speak to us by "Son." Not the Son but by Son. The Son is then the language of God.
Christ could not live forever among us on Earth as he has gone to prepare a place for us. So what did the Logos leave for
us? The logos left words. These words convey information about who he is. These words have power to destroy sin in our lives
and to heal us should we heed them. These words have permenance. We can be sure the Bible we have is the very Word of God
based on the evidence. (And again, that would be another article another day.)
So when I look at it, I think a book
is the best thing God could have left us. When we open the Word, we can then know the Word behind the Word. This very Word
whom we call savior, Lord, and God.