Onward, Words!

God places value on words. He is a Writer, through clear instruction, stories, and more. Thus, our words and stories should remind us of His.
on Sep 7, 2012 · No comments

As a writer, I’m fascinated by the value God places on words.

It’s been that way since the beginning, when He spoke the universe into existence. Let there be light.

Doubting God’s words led to humanity’s downfall. Did God really say… ?

God is a writer. He wrote with His finger on stone tablets on Sinai and in the dust of the ground in Jerusalem. The names of the redeemed are written on the palms of His hands.

Sometimes His words are clear and to the point. For God so loved the world…

Other times, He instructs through analogy. A farmer went out to sow his seed…

Now and then, He just tells stories. A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers…

His words are living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword…

Man’s words can be murderous. And anyone who says “You fool!” will be in danger… and The tongue… corrupts the whole body…

You get the picture; words are important to God. His words, our words. We must handle them all with care.

That’s why I hesitated when I first felt led to write. It’s a tremendous responsibility, and I didn’t (and don’t) feel capable.

I’m good at churning out words. Lots of ’em. Most of ’em blather. But words that convey what God wants people to hear? That’s another matter. Yet that’s what, I’m convinced, He’s called me to do.

It would take too long to explain why I consider this writing gig a calling rather than the result of my own ambition. But the proof, if such things can be proved, is the fact that ten years ago, I didn’t like sci-fi. I turned up my snobby little nose at all Christian fiction. And now I write Christian science fiction. Def-in-itely not my idea!

I hope I never fall out of awe of this. I pray it never comes easy. When I cease to sweat over every word and pray over every plot point, I’ll know it’s time to quit.

I don’t care a whole lot about what other people think about this aberration that’s lately shaped my life. Sure, it’s nice to get positive feedback. But no matter what you do, somebody’s going to complain about it, sometimes caustically, and I try not to be too concerned about that. I just sidestep the snares and fix my eyes on Him.

You’d be hard pressed to find a Christian author who doesn’t claim the same thing. “This is what God has called me to do.” “I write for God, not men.” “My writing is a ministry.” But from that common point, even within a common genre, our opinions—and works—often diverge. Widely. From zombies, magic, and dragon-breath flames to God’s holy voice speaking only King James.

You’ve got writers (and I’m one of them) who are diligent to keep every detail of their writing on the Bible’s narrow road. Others bemoan the dearth of Christian vampire stories and see no reason to make their story lines scriptural. Sometimes when these word warriors face off, blood boils in both camps.

Oh, wait—aren’t we all in the same camp?

God knows.

Yes, God knows.

I’m pleased to see more variety in Christian fiction in recent years. Especially gratifying is its overall increase in quality since those not-so-distant days when I shunned the Inspirational shelf in the local library. Most of all, I’m amused that I, of all unlikelies, have been assigned a bit role on this stage.

Changing attitudes and new technologies have the publishing world all a-flutter. But while the chaos rages around them, readers sit atop a treasure of easily-available and affordable choices. Whether your tastes are bonnets or battle scenes, you can find something to your liking in Christian fiction. Even—gasp!—science fiction.

It’s about time, I must say. God created science, after all, so why should the devil get all the cool stories about it?

God also created words. Let’s use them the way He intended from the beginning. Creatively. But with great care.

Yvonne Anderson writes fiction that takes you out of this world. Her first novel, The Story in the Stars, debuted in June 2011 and is an ACFW Carol Award finalist in the Speculative Fiction category. Her second, Words in the Wind, released August 1, 2012. Two additional titles will complete this Gateway to Gannah series. She is contest administrator for Novel Rocket's Launch Pad Contest for unpublished novelists. You may follow her wise words on the blog YsWords, or find her on Facebook or Twitter.
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  1. Ane Mulligan says:

    It’s really a wonderful calling, too. For years, I wrote plays and was the creative arts director at our church. Then the Lord led me away form that and into a new direction – writing novels. It was a clear calling, when the Lord made through the hubs. I knew beyond any doubt it was where He wanted me. 🙂 

    BUT, and as Genghis Griep says, and I always have a big but, that said, it doesn’t mean automatic publishing. It’s one of God’s gifts that comes with some assembly required. And I’ve spent years honing my craft, as you have. In fact, you’re one of my early mentors. Thanks, Y! 

  2. Kessie says:

    And the more people reading and writing Christian spec fic, the better! 🙂

  3. Galadriel says:

    It’s amazing how much power is in words and the letters that contain them on the page, isn’t it?

  4. Ane: “Gengis Griep,” eh? Funny. I’ll have to remember that one. But yeah, a calling doesn’t come with any earthly guarantees. Many are called, but few are published. And being published doesn’t mean you’ll sell books! God’s promises are from everlasting to everlasting, but they don’t include worldly fame or fortune. That’s not how He measures success.
    Kessie: I have to admit, it’s not for everybody. HOWEVER, if more people were aware of us out here and gave us a try, I think they might be surprised by how much they enjoy it, not to mention how it can minister to them.
    Galadriel: absolutely! I don’t think any of us fully comprehend the power.

  5. So true, Yvonne… and how often do we dash off (or spout) words without thinking? 

    I’m happy to see the growing variety (and quality) in Christian fiction, and as you say, we’re all on the same side.  

    Liked the nod to Larry Norman too. I’ll have “Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?” in my mental soundtrack for the rest of the day now. Thanks!

  6. I know you couldn’t include all the Biblical references to God as a writer, but the ones you included reminded me of his Book of Life. Now that’s a story in which I’m happy to have my name! 😀

    Thanks for this great post, Yvonne.


    • You’re right Rebecca – I thought of that one too, but barely made it under the word count as it was. However, I knew my audience would be able to fill in the blanks. And I agree; what a blessing to know God’s written us into His story!

  7. Jeff Reynolds says:

    Thanks, Yvonne, for that wonderful blog, and thanks for mentioning it in the ACFW speculative loop. I might check into the blog more often.
    Jeff Reynolds

  8. H.G. Ferguson says:

    You and I sound much of the same mind, though we write in different genres.  Like you I decry the name-calling and I LOVED your statement about some who see no reasons to keep their stories scriptural.  Far too much “speculative Christian fiction” right now is indeed that, more speculative than it is scriptural.  You have a heart for God and for His Word, which is your muse, your plumbline, your anchoring point of reference, and above all the source of what drives you and fills your work with holy power.  Because you seek to honor Him and be true to His Word, His blessing will be, and is, with you.  May the Lord empower you for every good work — and word — Sister.  Soli Deo Gloria!

  9. Thank you, Jeff and Harold.

  10. Kessie says:

    My brother and I were discussing Christian science fiction today. How does one have science fiction without evolution to explain aliens? Either God made a couple different types of humans and some sinned and some didn’t, or the aliens are angels, or they’re demons. That really, really limits the scope of science fiction.
    Or robots. I doubt a Christian would have come up with Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, but Asimov’s wonderfully moral robots turn out to have all kinds of beautiful pictures of Christ.
    Modern science fiction tends toward Bad Future. The post-apoc, the dystopian, the ruling oppressive religious regime. The Antichrist. We need some Good Future, like so much stuff written in the 50’s. Heck, I remember reading one where mankind had eliminated the mosquito and hugely developed the tropics as a result. It was intriguing.

    • Great question about “Christian science fiction”, Kessie. I’ve pondered that one a bit, myself. Here’s one scenario I’ve pondered…
      I thought to loosely base the future sci-fi world on what happened when people discovered the “New World” of North and South America. Suddenly there was more to the earth than we knew. Suddenly there were “types” of humans that we’d never seen before, with different appearance and different language and different culture. Suddenly there were new creatures we’d never seen, new plants, new insects — truly, like discovering a whole new world! So, in a story you could expand the scope of God’s “world” beyond the earth and speculate what would happen to Christianity if we DID send humans to other worlds and colonize them. You could have aliens that were simply different-looking people or you could leave all those worlds empty of sentient life and just populate them with different animals and plants.
      In this scenario, you might have to explain the scriptures that limit the scope of God’s plan to earth by saying there was a translation error. Or you could simply ignore that part if you’re one of those authors who doesn’t need to make all their spec fic match scripture. (Although some might consider it blasphemous to suggest explaining it away as a translation error, too!)
      I’d actually be interested to hear if anyone has ever done a cover-to-cover bible study to discover how many scriptures actually appear to limit the story of God to just this planet. How many would literally make a sci-fi story contradictory to scripture? How many only imply such a contradiction? How many do we assume imply a contradiction, but upon close examination actually do not?
      In the scenario I outlined above (which is the story world of a sci fi story I began in 2010), my thought was that just as God gave the Jewish people the honor of being His chosen people, the ones through whom He worked His salvation plan, so also the Earth was the one planet upon which He appeared and worked His salvation.
      In my far future story, imagine the Earth as Jerusalem seems to us. The ancient place where it all happened. The place where Jesus walked. Unique in time and space. Far away from the experience of you and I today, but we could travel there and breathe the same dust if we had the time and money. From that central place and time, the story of God and what He’s done for all His created peoples has spread out and out and out. Until the whole universe knows.
      I figure that if Jesus can miraculously return for His Second Coming in such a way that the whole world knows at once and sees Him at once… why couldn’t He do the same across multiple planets and galaxies? If we think He has tarried two thousand years after He left us, imagine how they feel several thousand years in the future! Heh heh.
      So, I’m not saying there aren’t challenges to making sci-fi biblical… but I’ve found some parallels that work for me (so far). Would love to hear what ya’all think and what you’ve come up with (or found in your reading)!

      • Bainespal says:

        I agree with your post, but I want to emphasize this point:

        In this scenario, you might have to explain the scriptures that limit the scope of God’s plan to earth by saying there was a translation error.

        God’s plan is definitely not limited to Earth. If God is who we know that He is, then His plan incorporates all of His creation. I am certain that the vast universe must have a purpose, and I can’t accept that the only reason that the cosmos was created was so that we could see the stars in the night sky. The universe belongs to God, not to us.

    • Kessie, I so agree about the need for Good Future fiction (and for Good Present in the non-speculative genres). Your point about the different races/species on different planets is one I’ve been chewing on as I think about writing SF.

      God can certainly have created different intelligent species to suit the planets He chose, but the big question is, did they all sin? Where Jesus died once for all, God could have worked it so that was actually happening simultaneously on every affected planet, but that seems kind of a stretch. I like Teddi’s idea of Earth being the focal point for all the planets, and that works for me as an extrapolation of Israel being for all Earth people. 

      I’ve always thought Jesus’ words about having other sheep could apply to life on other planets (although God is extravagant enough to have made the whole universe just to put us on this one planet with no other intelligent life out there). 

    • Kessie says:

      Teddi: I personally don’t think there’s aliens in our actual universe, Biblically speaking (based on various verses and things that I’ve studied). But I LOVE stories with aliens. The more unusual the aliens, the better. (Heinlein has some really fantastic ones.)
      Your idea of using our exploration of the New World is a good one. Other explorers like Marco Polo running around Africa, or even the Conquistadors running around South America. (Did you know they used cacao beans as currency? The Aztecs loved their xocoatl.)
      I think it’s better to start with a story first, then work out the theological implications afterward. Aliens attack Earth! Earth fights back! Or Earth encounters aliens! What now? (Reading the Halo novels, particularly The Fall of Reach, gives all kinds of interesting insights into alien invasions and space battles, especially space battles written like submarine battles. Excellent stuff.)
      Janet: The question of other life forms and did they sin–that’s the big arguing point in Christian sci fi. Some write stories with Yes (making much more interesting heroes and villains among the aliens) or No (leading to scenarios like Galaxy Quest).
      Another interesting thing would be to mix and match theologies. Aliens evolved! Can God still save them or are they damned? (I always thought it’d be interesting to play evolution out to its logical conclusion on an alien planet. Ever play the game Spore? If everything evolved and attached limbs and jaws as needed, all life everywhere should look like eldritch abominations.)

  11. In my Gannah series, only Terrestrials have eternal souls. There are aliens that were human in most regards, except for that; when they died, they simply ceased to exist. However, once the Gannahans heard the gospel, they believed it intellectually, and God gave them souls that live forever.
    However, I don’t specify that; I only hint at it. I explained it in an earlier version, but a mentor pointed out that some have said the same about Africans, and it didn’t seem like a good idea to give even the tiniest bit of credence to that theory. I thought she was nuts, but when I mentioned it to my husband, he agreed, as did a black Trinidadian friend of mine. I thought it was crazy; how could anyone take something like that seriously? But, apparently, people do; and it wasn’t vital to the story that I spell it out, so I downplay the part about aliens not having souls.
    I don’t believe there’s intelligent life on other planets. And I don’t think it matters one way or the other. In the Bible, God tells us everything we need to know; there are a lot of things the Bible doesn’t mention, but we don’t need to know it! If there are other intelligent beings with eternal souls on other planets, I have every confidence He’s taken care of them as well. We’re not commanded to take the gospel into outer space, just to the world. God knows our limitations, after all!

  12. Kessie says:

    God’s plan is definitely not limited to Earth. If God is who we know that He is, then His plan incorporates all of His creation. I am certain that the vast universe must have a purpose, and I can’t accept that the only reason that the cosmos was created was so that we could see the stars in the night sky. The universe belongs to God, not to us.

    I have a pet theory about that. There’s no way to prove it either way, but it’s fun to think about.
    My pet theory is that before the Fall, mankind was supposed to populate all the planets in the universe. After all, there was no death, yet God told mankind to be fruitful and multiply (animals, too). So eventually overpopulation would become a problem.
    Mars used to have liquid oceans and an atmosphere. The moon used to have a magnetic field. Venus used to rotate faster. The asteroid belt is the remains of a shattered planet. When did it all change? Possibly the instant man sinned. The other worlds we should have populated became closed to us, because now we had death, and overpopulation wouldn’t be nearly as much of an issue.
    So I’m not surprised that we keep finding Earth-like planets in the inhabitable zone. But I highly doubt they have people on them, because we’re the ones who should have lived on them. The most I ever expect us to find is a world with plants and animals on it.
    But science fiction? That’s completely different. I LOVE reading about aliens. Tell me stories about what might be out there if my theory’s wrong! And better yet, what we’ll do about it.

  13. Kessie says:

    Yvonne: Ooh, that’s tricky ground to tread, there, since that’s a racist claim that’s been made. Good thing you downplayed it. But wouldn’t a soulless being be like an animal, ruled by instinct and incapable of reason? How would such a creature get saved in the first place?

  14. It’s an interesting question. Because we all have souls and can’t communicate very well with animals, we don’t know what a soul-less existence would be like. In my story world, the people are fully human except for the soul; they’re rational as any other. And I know plenty of people in the real world who seem more ruled by emotion and instinct than reason, so I’m not sure having a soul makes us reasonable! I guess I can’t say the Gannahans were “saved” because they weren’t “lost” to begin with. But when they heard the gospel, they believed it; they were aware of their sin (“sin” was a concept they’d never been confronted with before) and understood they deserved God’s judgment. With that knowledge, they surrendered themselves to His authority. God rewarded everyone who believed in Him with an eternal soul.
    All that is back story, though. The Story in the Stars takes place centuries after the gospel came to Gannah.

    • Kessie says:

      Ah, good way to get around the whole debacle. Make it backstory!
      Just to chew on the “soul vs. spirit” debate some more, here’s Hebrews 4:12 in the Amplified.
      For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.
      Which I think clarifies the debate nicely. The breath of life = soul, the immortal personality = the spirit.
      As for what sets man apart from the animals, I watched our cats and chickens, trying to figure out what made them different from humans.
      Animals can ask every question but Why. And they are not self-aware. The chickens can ask Who, Where, When, and What. The cat who learned to open the cabinet doors could ask How. But he never learned to open any of the other cabinets. Just the one. Because he couldn’t ask Why.
      Whereas as soon as my son could crawl, he opened all of the cabinets.
      Even watching the video of that insanely smart dog who knows the names and shapes of a zillion different toys, and can puzzle out the name of a new toy, she doesn’t ask why. She very smartly parses Who, Where, When, What, and How. But she doesn’t ask why. And she also doesn’t know she’s a dog. There’s no identity crisis of her saying, “This man is my friend but I’m only a dog who collects toys!” Animals aren’t self-aware that way.

    • Biblically, soul/spirit are synonyms, inseparable. That’s why Hebrews 4:12 uses them in that way — not to demonstrate that these two are separate “parts” of a human, but to use a rhetorical device to demonstrate how sharp Scripture is. One might as well say, “The Bible can split the atom,” something we would have thought unbreakable.

      Other passages, such as 2 Cor. 5, speak only of our souls/spirits being “unclothed” by a body at death. No mention is made of a tripartate nature, only two “parts.” (And Paul is clear that spirit/body are also meant to be unified, apart only for a time.)

      Anyway, this is one of those tangential issues, fun to discuss and only remotely, as far as I can tell, crucial to life and practice! 

      • Although this is tangential, as you said, Stephen, there are some interesting things to look at in terms of biblical references to soul and spirit.
        I agree that there are parts of the bible that seem to use the words soul and spirit interchangeably (especially in the Old Testament), all three are listed as separate items (implying a tripartate nature, as you put it) in at least one New Testament scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Spirit (pneuma), soul (psyche) and body (soma).
        Also, there a lot of references to various parts or operations of the soul, and people who teach on this topic of “spirit, soul and body” often group operations of the soul into three general categories: mind (thinking), will (choosing), emotions (feelings).
        Some Christians believe that one’s spirit is the part that is a “new creation” — made completely perfect and new and in the image of Christ. They teach that the soul is the part that thinks and feels and chooses things, whether we’re saved or not. Once we’re saved, then if we yield our soul (our thoughts and feelings and choices) to the truth of what our reborn spirit knows and desires (in its pure Christ-like state) then we overcome old habits and carnal temptations. It’s the difference between “walking in the spirit” and “walking in the flesh”.
        I personally have found it helpful to think of it this way. When I am confused about a situation and feeling pulled several directions, I can often sort through things by identifying what emotions I’m feeling, what reasonings or thoughts are in play, and then once I have set these aside, I can usually isolate what my spirit is sensing from God. Then I can choose my path (an operation of the will)  and He gives me the strength to continue to deny myself (the things I think are rational or that I feel like doing) and walk that path.
        I wouldn’t say I’m fully convinced of the whole scriptural basis or conclusions of these teachings, but thinking of it that way does help me in my daily walk.
        And another thing makes sense to me (taking it back to the context of the comment thread): If man is the only part of creation made in the image of God and is the only one into whom it is mentioned that God breathed the “breath of life” (Gen. 2:7, “neshamah”, a Hebrew word meaning breath and/or spirit), then perhaps this “spirit” is the difference between man and animal.
        Animals obviously seem to think and feel — although they cannot speak in our language, anyone who has owned pets has witnessed the intelligence and/or moods of animals. So animals may have a “soul” (mind, will, emotions), but not a “spirit” (that eternal part which God breathes into each person and which will either spend eternity in hell or in heaven). Then again, some people have had visions of heaven and saw animals there… even assuming that the visions were accurate, it’s hard to know whether those are animals who “went to heaven” after death here on earth or if they are something else.
        But here we get into tricky and much-argued theological ground, including questions of “eternal souls” and all that. I’m not interested in arguing theology (especially given that I don’t believe firmly one way or another myself), but just wanted to share some things that can be used in stories, should anyone choose to interpret the scriptures this way.
        I like Kessie’s idea that animals can think everything except “why”… although even if they did, I’m not sure we’d be able to tell. Since they can’t talk, it’s hard to know for sure. Might be enlightening to read more about the gorillas and chimps that have been taught sign language. Do they have a sense of self (self-aware)? What concepts do they use when signing? What concepts seem outside their mental capacity?

  15. I lean toward humanity’s being “made in the image of the God” (Who of course is triune) as meaning we are tripartate beings (“Let US make man in OUR own image…”) with a body, a soul, and a spirit.
    This would mean animals are not tripartate, although I’m not sure which part they’re missing; the soul or the spirit.
    The idea that mankind’s spirit is what died as a result of The Fall, and that the spirit is regenerated/made new by the power of the resurrection upon putting one’s trust in Christ, makes sense to me.  Therefore, the difference between man and beast is the spirit — which, according to this scenario, unregenerate man doesn’t possess either, making him an animal, just like evolutionists claim.
    A whole lot of I dunno’s remain in this discussion, but it certainly is interesting to contemplate.

    • I lean toward humanity’s being “made in the image of the God” (Who of course is triune) as meaning we are tripartate beings (“Let US make man in OUR own image…”) with a body, a soul, and a spirit.

      Which would seem to make sense, at least on the surface. The only problem seems to result when one tries to support this view from Scripture. (Again, as far as I can tell this is highly tangential, of the angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin variety!) Scriptures seems to use soul/spirit interchangeably. One notable example is in 2 Cor. 5, when Paul discusses being “unclothed” or without a shelter, that is, after death, when the soul/spirit is away from the body. The two are meant to be together, he says, and so that shall be at the Resurrection, when soul/spirit and body are reunited forever.

      In Romans, the Apostle Paul discusses a two-stage redemption: first the redemption of the soul/spirit (for the Christian, this is past), then the resurrection of the body (still to come; and the physical creation itself also awaits a physical resurrection). If our nature were tripartate, redemption would also be. Yet we only find two stages.

      A whole lot of I dunno’s remain in this discussion, but it certainly is interesting to contemplate.

      Amen! What helped me was theologian Wayne Grudem’s exploration of the topic in his Systematic Theology (and also his condensed version of that, Bible Doctrine).

      At the same time, it is very tangential. I have heard of weird and even anti-Biblical notions based on the “trichotomy” concept, but due to the fault of the believers, surely not the belief. Yet Dr. Tim White says trichotomy teaching is relatively new:

      Louis Berkhof in his Systematic Theology gives the origin of the trichotomy view on page 191. “The tripartite conception of man originated in Greek philosophy, which conceived of the relation of the body and the spirit of man to each other after the analogy of the mutual relation between the material universe and God. It was thought that, just as the latter could enter into communion with each other only by means of a third or an intermediate being, so the former could enter into mutual vital relationships only by means of a third or intermediate element, namely, the soul.”

      C. I. Scofield helped popularized this view beginning in 1909 in his Study Bible on page 1270.

      Still, all this makes for fascinating exploration, perhaps even for a speculative novel. For example, until I read Berkhof’s summary there, I had not thought the concept of an “intermediate” being or human-nature element being necessary for communion. This is not heresy, I’m sure! Yet it does have a ring of the old Gnostic idea that God as a pure spirit cannot communicate or relate to physical material without something “in between,” that is, a created-being or sub-god, the demiurge.

      Hmm. It seems Grudem actually had the same caution, in his Systematic Theology.

      Some trichotomists today have a tendency to adopt a related error that also was found in Greek philosophy—the idea that the material world, including our bodies, is essentially evil and something to be escaped from. The danger is to say that the realm of the “spirit” is the only thing that is really important, with a resultant depreciation of the value of our physical bodies as created by God and “very good” (Gen. 1:31), and therefore as something to be presented to God in service for him (Rom. 12:1).

      Trichotomy can also have an anti-intellectual tendency. If we think of the spirit as that element of us that relates most directly to God, and if we think that the spirit is something distinct from our intellect, emotions, and will, we can easily fall into an anti-intellectual kind of Christianity that thinks that vigorous academic work is somehow “unspiritual”—a view that contradicts Jesus’ command to love God with all our “mind” (Mark 12:30) and Paul’s desire to “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). Such a separation of the realm of the “spirit” from the realm of the intellect can too easily lead to a neglect of sound doctrine or of the need for extensive teaching and knowledge of the Word of God—in contradiction to Paul’s goal that he would work among God’s people to further both their “faith” and their “knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness” (Titus 1:1; cf. v. 9). Similarly, if we think of our spirits as a distinct part of us that relates most directly to God, we can easily begin to neglect the role of Bible study and mature wisdom in making decisions, and place too much reliance on “spiritual” discernment in the realm of guidance, an emphasis that has, through the history of the church, led many zealous Christians astray into false teaching and unwise practices. Finally, trichotomy can subtlely influence us to think that our emotions are not important or not really spiritual, since they are thought to be part of our soul, not part of our spirit.

      • To me, this discussion is a bit more relevant than angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin, because of the same points Grudem makes about the pitfalls of trichotomic thinking. Discounting my intellect, my emotions, my imagination, as “unspiritual” or purely carnal can place obstacles to growth and/or fruitfulness in Christ in certain areas.
        Great fodder for thought, Stephen. The quotes you posted have prompted me to ponder the implications of soul and spirit being one, something I hadn’t really thought about before (having run into spirit/soul/body teaching soon after accepting Jesus). Thanks for the references, too — useful for further research!

  16. I love this, Y. Thanks for the reminder.

What do you think?