May 19, 2013

Semantics - Linda Aleta Tame

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Am I a Christian writer or a Christian who writes?  I wrote a Christian novel.  Now that I've said that, I need to clarify that a novel cannot be Christian.  I know I'm being too literal, but I guess it's a pet peeve.  Only people can be Christian, so it's a novel with Christian-related content.  And yes, I'm also a Christian who writes.  I don't always write about Christianity or Jesus or faith.

Have I sufficiently frustrated you with such quibbling over this question?  Perhaps, this blog contribution could be considered Christian writing, but am I still a Christian who writes if I frustrate my readers?  You can see how convoluted this discussion can be.  It's about semantics, isn't it?

So many misunderstandings result from semantics.  For example, the whole topic of God's grace.  For many years I understood God's grace to be a believer's character trait, synonymous with having poise.  When I learned it was more about God's unconditional love and mercy, I could hardly believe how far off the mark I'd been.  God's grace is definitely not about our posture or composure, although those things can be affected by it.  His grace is something we can't earn, it's not a reward, it's a gift, freely given.  In fact it was given while we were still sinners.

But isn't that indulgence?  That God, the Creator of the universe, would pour out His undeserved loving kindness on people who don't deserve it proves the whole gospel message is foolish, doesn't it?   It's not hard to see why the grace message comes under suspicion by those who have yet to understand it.  They "stumble over the stumbling stone."  Romans 9:32 (That Jesus Christ, our Saviour, is referred to here as a stumbling stone, is about semantics too, isn't it?)

Yet, once we've experienced God's grace, once we grasp the truth of what it means to be wrapped in that lavish outpouring of His love, we are irresistibly smitten.  Our failures become as quickly forgotten as they were made evident in the light of His precious gift.  If it's foolish for me to relish in this love, call me a fool!

So, am I a Christian writer or a Christian who writes?  I guess I would say I'm always a Christian who writes, and sometimes a Christian writer.  Either way, it's important to just write if that's what we're called to do.   

3 comments:

Sharon Espeseth said...

Thanks, Linda, for shedding some ink on this topic. I tend to agree with you. I too am a Christian who writes, but I also write articles, essays, and poetry that have Christian content. That would make me sometimes a Christian writer.

To take this a step further, as a Christian I write from a Christian perspective and with a Christian world view, even if I am not writing material that is overtly Christian. In a way, that makes me a Christian writer too. I may be confusing the issue even more, splitting atoms, or finishing my comment with a chicken and egg conundrum.

At any rate, I do feel called to write. The thought that God keeps stirring my brain and giving me topics to write about keeps me going. I pray God will continue to prod me to write more pieces that honour him.

Tracy Krauss said...

Isn't semantics fun...? *Smile*

Linda Aleta Tame said...

Thanks for your comments my sisters! Semantics = fun...YES! In a weird sort of way. Sharon, chicken or egg, that is ALWAYS the question!