Written Thursday January 30, 2014
I’m sitting in the living room of my parents’ mountain condo outside Banner Elk, N.C., on a nice chilly day. I’m listening to one of my favorite songs off Casting Crowns’ new album Thrive, “House of Their Dreams.” Love how these guys stay super-biblical in their music.
Anyways, I’ve been up here for a couple days and I’ve spend a good bit of time in prayer. One of the things I’ve prayed about is my writing. I love writing this blog, I love taking the time to put my thoughts on the Internet for you five people to read it. But I want to almost refocus the intent.
In a way, the three things I’m about to share have always been the intent of this blog, from when I started it in the summer of 2011. I wrote a blog post called “Why I Write,” including this little bit:
This blog exists for me to write about God. Simply. I hope that, to whoever reads this, it is encouraging, strengthening, sobering, God-praising and Jesus-glorifying. My motto for this blog is 1 Corinthians 10:31 – “Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do all to the glory of God.”
I’ll be writing about what God is teaching me through my quiet times in the Word, reading books by authors such as John Piper, listening to sermons or podcasts from guys like Piper, Mark Driscoll and such and just observations on daily life. They’ll often be short little quips, but some will be longer and more in-depth. Those are my favorites, by the way.
Looking back, I’ve done some of those things. I’ve written some observations of daily life, some things I’ve learned through times in the Word, some short things and some long things. So I guess I’ve been somewhat faithful to what I originally intended this blog to be. But I want to be more specific.
I’ve been writing more about theology lately than anything else, with a little bit of music thrown in. I want to set a few guidelines for how I want to approach my theological writing. Here they are:
1. Faithful and accurate interpretation of Scripture: This is one of my great concerns when I write. I don’t want what I say to be improper interpretation and application of God’s Word. It is a beautiful Word that we as Christians have been given.
The author of Psalm 119:29 puts it wonderfully: “Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law!” That’s what I want this blog to be: keeping false ways far away and understanding God’s Word. If I’m writing about sin or grace or obedience or anxiety or whatever I might be writing about, I want it to be the right interpretation of the Bible.
2. Personal testimony and honest vulnerability: One of the things I love about Paul’s writings is that he’s not afraid to share his personal struggles. In Romans 7, he speaks of how he does not do what he wants to do, and does what he does not want to do. In 2 Corinthians 12, he speaks of his thorn in the flesh and how greatly he struggled with God to get it removed from him.
I’m not going to be sharing my deepest, darkest secrets here – at least not yet, perhaps. But I want to be honest in areas where I’m struggling so that others who read this might be able to relate to what I’m writing about. I’m always encouraged when I run across brothers who are fighting the same battles I am and sisters who are learning the same thing I am.
I also want to publicly praise the Lord for work He’s doing in my life. So when I share personal testimony, it’s not about me, it’s about God working in me. If any personal testimony I share becomes prideful to you, feel free to call me out on it.
3. Grace and the gospel: This is what’s given me life in Christ. Without grace, I would still be stuck in my sin. I would not be who I am. I would not be doing this. Without the gospel, I would not know what message to spread to others that they might experience the same grace I have.
So when I write, I want grace to be constant and I want the Gospel to be at the end. I want people to know the power of grace and the message of the gospel. Whatever it is I’m talking about, I want the message of the forgiveness of sins and the possibility of right relationship with God to be known.
So yeah, that’s the whole of what I wanted to say. Keep me accountable. If I ever write about theology and these traits don’t come through, let me know right away. Tweet at me (@zacharyhorner) or e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thanks.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.