I recently joined a Facebook group called Reformed Writers. It’s a group where writers who hold to the Reformation band together to write, talk about writing, aid one another in writing, and do it all for God’s glory.
In thinking about writing to the Glory of God, I want to actually answer a question the statement should raise up in a Reformed person’s heart.
What does it mean to write to the Glory of God?
And before that question can be answered, I believe it would help us answer the question if we define these two terms: Writing and Glory(glorify)
I want to begin by answer the easiest question first: What is writing?
To put simple, writing is taking the language of a people, identifying sounds with symbols, and putting those symbols together to form a concept or idea which can be seen visually. Language is primarily heard, but writing makes language seen. Writing is taking the language that is heard and putting it in front of someone to be seen. I could get into what language is but that may be another topic for another time and it would be useful, but I am primarily answering “What is writing?”
Thus, writing is the action of portraying spoken concepts visually. The action of portraying language visually.
So, as I write, you see and process all that I would have said to you and communicated to you by your hearing and by the sounds of my voice.
So I would define writing as the visual communication of ideas through written symbols. The author makes two decisions: What am I writing? How am I going to write it? “What is being written” is to ask, what idea or concept is being communicated? Is this a true concept? Is this a speculative concept? “How it is being written” is to ask, what style is the author (or am I) using? In what way are they(or me) trying to communicate the idea?
Now, lets answer the second question and then hopefully bring it together: “What does it mean to glorify?”
This is a difficult question to answer because we would continuously use words to replace glorify. We would say, to glorify means to honor, or worship, or praise, or admire. But to merely replace the word with a string of words doesn’t get us much closer to actually defining glorify.
We must then get deeper into the character of God. One way that we will never be able to glorify God is by adding anything unto His person, character, or nature. We cannot do that. He is supreme and nothing can be added to him. So, however we define glorify, it is not an act or action that can make God into something he isn’t already. However we define it, glorify is an act that must do something with what he already is.
To glorify would be to say something true and make it match up to the beauty of that truth. For example: We can say, “God is good.” That is true but no one feels the beauty of that truth. We must take that truth and set it in reality. “God lets no injustice remain and will punish the wicked.” Now, we are getting closer to feeling the weight of the truth that God is good.
It would be enough to say, “God is good.” But all language is meant to be used with not only stating but also using it in such a way that makes the statement be felt. So, if you want to glorify God with your language, you not only merely say that He is good but you use your language to demonstrate it as well. “All the good acts of all men everywhere from the beginning to the end could never match up to the good acts of God.”
So not only must the language portray a true concept or idea, but the way the language portrays that idea must match up with the concept or idea.
Next blog I’ll follow up and keep defining “glorify.” And hopefully after that we can then answer the question, “How can a writer glorify God by his writing?”
How does one write to the Glory of God?