What Was It Like?

When God said, “Let there be light!”
What was it like?

An explosion of sound
Like rolling thunder
Clashing cymbals
Booming drums
Or a wildly cheering crowd?

Or maybe it was glorious music
An engaging ballad,
An organ performance
A symphony
A marching band
Perhaps an explosion of rock and roll.

Perhaps it was a sweet solo,
A Capella words with power
A soprano reaching star high notes
A bass rattling the foundations
A rich contralto
Or a rapper’s energy and rhythm.

Or maybe the Word had no sound
An explosion of light and color
Beauty illumined by soundless word
Dreams of mysterious symbols
Sculptures of thought and design
Even substantial structures of emotions.

Even that might be insufficient, so
A blueprint stretching infinitely
Connections intricate and planned
Mechanisms carrying unresisted power
Measurements of incomprehensible precision
A song, a picture, a word, an action, divine.

Or just God’s Word.
“And there was.”

Dedicated to James Kristian McClellan. Maybe it’s you!

Obscuring the Glory of God in Literature

Venus de Milo. Louvre Museum.
Image via Wikipedia

In my post Creativity for the Fun of It, I maintained that it’s fine for Christians to write and publish works that are just for fun, and that God’s glory shines through such things because God is the creator of everything, not just some limited subset that we define as sacred.

As that post has become one of the more popular ones on this blog over the last few days, I re-read it, and noticed that one might misunderstand. I’m speaking there within the context of literature that doesn’t set out to obscure that glory, or get so far off the track that it accidentally does so.

Let me make some comparisons.

  • The Venus de Milo vs. pictures in Penthouse
  • A movie that contains violent scenes of war as opposed to a horror movie
  • A book with sexual content where it is an important part of the story as opposed to a book of pornography

I’m not here going to condemn whole genres, any more than I’m saying that any literature is OK. I’m generally opposed to arbitrary standards. I would say, “Can you find God in there?”, but some people would then look for the word “God.” Perhaps one should ask whether one can see God reflected there through his creation.

As a very specific case in point, I’d like to mention the novels of Andrew Greeley. If I remember the phrase correctly, Greeley was once described as having “the dirtiest mind ever ordained.” I won’t praise his novels as great literature. He seemed to largely work with one plot. But in each novel you’d see the passion of human sexuality used as a mirror to reflect the passion with which God seeks us. I’m sorry that Greeley is now no longer able to write.


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