The Chair and the Desk, 1/19/16

From the chair:

29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

-Acts 5:29-32

The Spirit testifies that the Father raised and exalted the Son. This is why we say what we say (“we must obey God rather than men”) and how we are who we are (through “the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him”).


From the desk:

“one should be able to argue persuasively on either side of a question…not that we may actually do both (for one should not persuade what is debased) but in order that it may not escape our notice what the real state of the case is and that we ourselves may be able to refute if another person uses speech unjustly.”

-Aristotle, Rhetoric I.1, 1355a, trans. Kennedy

Aristotle says we should be able to make the argument that those we disagree with would make, not only so that we can refute them effectively, but also so that “it may not escape our notice what the real state of the case is”. Not only will fuller understanding help us argue our positions, it may change our positions, or at least how we hold them. Understanding costs time and patience, but it’s worth it for the sake of the truth. We may not yet know the truth; we may know it and not yet know how to share.


“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.

 

Leave a Reply