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February 28, 2013

Some things come to mind fairly quickly, like clever passwords for internet purposes. One that hasn’t is a suitable title for this blog. Previously I used “Talking through” and “Thinking it through” as English translations of διαλέγομαι (dialegomai), a word that means to discuss or, more literally, to talk or think through (used in, for example, Acts 17:17). I didn’t like those translations, and διαλέγομαι isn’t very catchy. Everything else I came up with seemed either pretentious or too clever or too . . . how shall I say . . . “thoughtful” (the image of a  man sitting at a table, book opened, steam rising from his coffee cup, chewing on the arm of his glasses). 

Yesterday I read for the first time (that I can remember) C. S. Lewis’s “Meditation in a Toolshed” (you can find it in his God in the Dock or online here: Here is the relevant quote that explains the blog title “Along the Beam”:

“I was standing today in the dark toolshed. The sun was shining outside and through the crack at the top of the door there came a sunbeam. From where I stood that beam of light, with the specks of dust floating in it, was the most striking thing in the place. Everything else was almost pitch-black. I was seeing the beam, not seeing things by it. Then I moved, so that the beam fell on my eyes. Instantly the whole previous picture vanished. I saw no toolshed, and (above all) no beam. Instead I saw, framed in the irregular cranny at the top of the door, green leaves moving on the branches of a tree outside and beyond that, 90 odd million miles away, the sun. Looking along the beam, and looking at the beam are very different experiences.”

This reminds me of Lewis’s famous line, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else” (from “Is Theology Poetry?” in The Weight of Glory).

My title, then, indicates my way of looking at things (as best as I can). Life and the world are best understood by looking at them in the light of, or along the beam of, Jesus Christ.


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One Comment
  1. Rick Wade permalink

    Obviously, the title of this blog has been changed again. “Along the beam” required explanation too often. “For a purpose” reflects one of my interests. As innocent as it may seem, purpose runs against the grain of modern and postmodern thought. Teleology was tossed out long ago. Even though we all operate within contexts of purpose, we tend in terms of smaller teleologies, the purposes of individuals, groups, and societies. Yet some people still occasionally give hints of thinking that, if there isn’t an overarching purpose, there ought to be, or we’d like there to be one. There is indeed transcendent purpose, and it’s found in the one who put this universe in place. What we’d like to be true deep down is a pointer to him.

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