Friday, August 24, 2007

Speaking of the Dead (in Christ)

Speaking of the dead... I'm finally getting around to updating my blog!

The title of this entry carries a double meaning.
There are a number of reasons I have cut my blogging back to a minimum these days. One is that I have a very slow computer that always eats away more time than I can spare on little exercises like blogging. Another is that my brain is low on creative impulses. But the biggest reason is that I am trying hard to bridle my tongue so that I won't write something I might regret later. I believe blogging is a good thing, but I'm trying to mortify a few areas of my life that need more discipline.

One important reminder in this struggle occurred a few months back when I forgot the important fact that what one writes on the internet doesn't always communicate as well as a face to face conversation.

I left a mildly sarcastic comment on a blog in response to something another commenter had written. I'll spare the names of all parties involved, but the gist of the exchange was:
Commentator: "Was [said theologian] fat? I like fat theologians!"
Me: "Yes, and skinny theologians everywhere are offended. :-)"

At the time, I did not think my comment was rude or disrespectful.
A few weeks later, however, a respected mentor of mine came across the same blog and noticed my comment. He confronted me about the matter, and ,while not expressing any explicit signs of anger, challenged me to consider whether such a comment displayed appropriate respect to the legacy of this particular glorified saint. As a result of this conversation, I realized that my statement was careless if not intentionally disrespectful.

I was challenged with the concept of speaking of the dead in Christ as if they are still alive. In a very real sense, of course, they are. As Hebrews 12:1 reminds us, "Therefore, having so great a cloud of witnesses around us . . . let us run with endurance the race that is set before us."

I want to be careful not to suggest anything akin to saint worship, but the Bible reveals that God's glorified people, faithful in life, faithful at death, now serve as historical testimonies to the grace of God. Their lives and ideas are not above criticism and godly evaluation, but they are all certainly worthy of our respect, no matter how prominent or how obscure.

So, as I continue to meditate upon the application of this truth, I conclude this entry with a deep appreciation for those who have tilled the soil in which I now labor.

I am,
On the Shoulders of Giants


  1. Very good reminder to remember the faithful believers who have gone before us.

  2. Thanks, Adam, for the reminder to be cautious in criticizing the saints, as well as in phrasing internet dialogue. All too often I've been guilty of making off-handed comments which, while not intended to be negative or offensive at all, weren't carefully worded enough...

    Hope you've been enjoying the extended weekend, and see you in class.

  3. Joseph-
    Thanks for the eprops.

    James was obviously correct when he declared that the tongue is restlessly evil. I suppose we might apply that truth to the expression of the tongue in type as well.