Your Voice 3: Logos

By now, some church guy has to have proved that watching Harry Potter makes you at least four times more likely to go to hell than before subjecting your delicate spirit to the witchcraft and mayhem that our culture has fallen in love with. Maybe the Barna Institute has some research and statistics to support that notion. Probably not though, George seems to be battling for the left side of church politics these days.

The Barna Institute hit a niche when they started doing research. Pastors and those interested in growing congregations into giant bodies of tithing believers consumed his books and research as though their lives depended on it. This happened until he turned on ecclesiastical leadership and basically indicated that the Church doesn’t need it anymore.

Prior to that though, Barna hit a chord with church leaders because he provided insight and information that they could use to achieve their goals and for sermon illustrations. The burden of speaking to a group of people at least once a week, if not more is that it turns one into a consumer of information. This is logos.

The thing about logos is that it can be a tangible value like those provided by the Barna Institute, or it can be a story or any fact that supports an idea or argument. Bible verses, anecdotes, names, dates and locations all qualify. Logos is necessary to any argument or presentation unless you’re into fantasy and like to avoid reality.

The nineties and the beginning of the new millennium found a world inundated with information. So much of it was flying around the airwaves that I honestly think that a lot of people have grown tired of it. Once interesting facts have lost their appeal due to the ginormous volume of them we see every single day.

Believers might have it a little easier because we have access to the logos of John 1 which tells us,

In the beginning was the Logos and the Logos was with God and the Logos was God.

Understanding that Jesus amounted to God in the flesh as well as truth personified can help us differentiate between fact and truth.  God’s law presented the world with the fact that humanity basically sucked and that God was holy. Jesus came in as the life-changing truth behind God’s judgment, love and holiness. Truth is the meaning behind the facts. It’s why they’re important and how they can change us. As writers, this is what we should seek to communicate.

We can read and research facts and useful information and build sermons, blogs, books and movements off it until the end of time, but that won’t necessarily mean that we’re presenting the world with life-changing truth.

I could be wrong but I think that those of us who communicate in particular ways (we writers) have a great opportunity. We have the chance to change lives, if we offer the right stuff.

Give your readers information. Understand why you do it and what each piece of information does for them. Decipher between fact and something that can make them into a better person and try to choose the better stuff. It might be harder to come by, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

Filed under: writing

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dustin La Mont. Dustin La Mont said: RT @muchl8r: The last in the rhetoric series is UP! "Your Voice 3: Logos" It's good for the writers!!! [...]
  2. One of the reasons we left our last church after almost 15 years my wife summed up as, "it's becoming the church of Barna." The pastor is a great guy and a personal friend, he just got caught up in doing it "in the flesh." I agree with you 100%, God doesn't need anything but his word to accomplish His perfect will. I gotta give you credit, not too many Christians are willing to stand up and speak truth even though it's what we're called to do. Some times the ears don't need to tickled, they need to be thumped!
    • jake
      Floyd, I can't think of a worse feeling than knowing that your pastor is doing something like that in the flesh. Especially in a community that you've been part of for so long. I hope that I would always be able to stand up for what I think truth is, the funny thing though is that we truly don't make it easy on ourselves OR each other, you know?
  3. I want truth. I want to convey that truth. Good stuff, Jake. Thanks.
  4. This is muy bueno Jake. Oh, and diggin' the redesign.
    • jake
      Thanks Tony! I hope it has something to offer for your communication, if not, then at least it was perhaps a little entertaining!
  5. Facts don't necessarily convey truths. As Billy often tells me when I ask if events he writes about happened the way they read, "There's truth and then there's Truth. I think the latter is more important."
  6. jmlee
    That's a great delineation. Billy is a smart, smart man! Facts happen, but truth hides behind it all. It's definitely a wonderful thing IF we can discern what's happened, but that's not easy, either.
  7. [...] I’m skeptical of emotion. Most of the time, it seems that dead puppies come as a substitute for real information . Somehow, many people accept this as passable or even decent teaching. But everything this man had [...]