The Importance Of Christian Writings – Part 2

2 – What Characteristics Must Be Seen In Christian Writings: Even a simpleton can detect the difference between the writings found in different kinds of publications. For example, he won’t find it difficult to distinguish between political, educational, scientific, or humorous writings. This is because all writings have their own characteristics. Christian writings also have some definite characteristics, and some of them are:

SIMPLICITY: in a social gathering with plenty of rich people, it is often very easy to distinguish who was born into riches and who has acquired it suddenly or recently only. The newly rich are often more showy, hollow, and vainglorious. Their conversation is laden with pomposity and arrogance. They are inflated. They look down upon others of lesser achievement or means.

The naturally rich, however, tend to be more relaxed, calm, and unassuming. You will often see them mingling freely with the rank of people that others consider below their level. These “natural” people have seen money right from their birth, and therefore have no identity crisis related to riches. The same is the case with writers.

Those who have not grown sufficiently in their Christian life, who have not matured yet, and who have not started viewing themselves as well as others with proper balance, often write somewhat like the new-rich. They are pompous, vain, and full of shallow statements. Their writings tend to be either shallow or loaded with high-sounding words. A growing Christian, however, has not illusions about himself or his writings. He suffers no identity crisis. He writes neither to show off his academic brilliance, nor to dazzle the readers with his Greek, but to communicate with them. A good Christian writer will, therefore, will exhibit simplicity whenever he communicates.

The simplicity will be seen in vocabulary, style of writing, and also the way in which deep Christian truths are communicated in an unassuming manner.

CONVICTION: It is possible for people to preach without conviction. They do so not to change lives but because there is some external compulsion to get the thing done. Such communication never brings results — whether it is communicated orally or through writing.

The Christian writer has a definite message for the world — for the perishing souls as well as for those who have been saved from damnation. He will be able to communicate this message effectively only if he has strong conviction about this truth and also about the need for people to hear the truth.

Just as simplicity of presentation results only when there is growth, conviction also grows upon a writer only when he maintains a close walk with the Lord.

Read the writings any Christian writer who has been able to change the lives of people. You will notice conviction oozing out of each sentence.

I must digress for a moment and tell you something about false cults, political ideologies, and errant movements. People belonging to each of these groups are marked by conviction, and that is one reason why their literature is successful in brainwashing millions of people every year.

If those who preach the gospel of destruction do it with such commitment and conviction, it is surely expected of the Christian writer that he would write with equal (or greater) conviction. Instead of a gospel of death, desolation, and destruction he is preaching a message of life and renewal. He must therefore have strong conviction, and that conviction should be visible in his writings. No conscious effort is needed, though. If it is there in the HEART, it will automatically come onto PAPER.

URGENCY: I have been interested in teaching all my life, and this has made me to notice great interest a special human phenomenon. Most members of the student community dream around and kill their time in wasteful activities almost all the year. Come the exam, they are filled with a sense of urgency. They go to the bookshops, and fall prey to countless advertisements that entice them with guarantees for sure success.

Scores of publishers in our country now bring out the “one evening” and “condensed” types of textbooks, study-notes, and “probable” question-answers. The advertisements devised by them remind students that time is SHORT and only these “guidebooks” will help them to pass the exam. A lot of students fall in for that trap.

When a message is communicated with a sense of urgency, it captivates a lot of people. Unfortunately, people who know this secret are using it at the wrong place. Only people giving out things of lasting value or things life-saving ought to give an impression or urgency.

The Christian writer has a message of redemption and hope for the perishing millions. In addition, he has a message for those who have come out of this way but who are still emulating the lifestyle on the “broad way”. This must change — and change it must immediately. This realization should fill the Christian writer with a sense of urgency to proclaim the message he has. Once there is a sense of urgency in the HEART of the writer, it will automatically show in his writings. This ought to be a distinguishing mark of every good Christian writing.IDENTIFICATION: Since the purpose of Christian writing is to help people, it must identify with people for whom it is written. If it is written for students, a student reading it ought to feel that it is really meant for him. The same is the case with writings produced for any other group whether they be scientists, pastors, office workers, businessmen, military personnel, lawyers, doctors, labourers, housewives, or the retired and the elderly.Identification with the reader requires that the writer recognize his target audience, their pains, problems, and aspirations. George Koshy, an accomplished writer, who often writes for the children, told me that the big publisher with whom he worked as an apprentice required him to spend several MONTHS in the company of children. He was required both to interact directly with them as well as observe them from a distance without any personal involvement. He was required to visit every place where there are children in abundance — schools, nurseries, parks, and even the neighbourhood street where they gather together.This exposure told him, for the first time how the world of children is different from that of adults. This is turn helped him to look at life and its problems from the eyes of children and compose articles and stories that address to these problems. This is true children’s literature because it identifies with the reader. It speaks to their problems, fancies, and aspirations, and needs using their language and their level of perception.

The Christian writer writes for various groups of people ranging from the super-intellectual to the mentally deficient, and from the richest person to the one who doesn’t know where his next morsel of meal is going to come from. The writer therefore has to choose topics that are suitable for the target audience, and then present it to him in idiom that is native to him.

Talking about the benefits of fish-eating to confirmed vegetarians and about self maintenance of air-conditioners to people who hardly have a pair of worn clothing is self defeating. So is talking about pastoral problems to housewives and philosophical theology with a man who is facing excruciating pain because of a terminal illness.

Identification requires some work. The writer has to decide his target audience, must learn about their pains and aspirations, and then must communicate to them in language with which they feel at home. Good Christian writings identify with their readers and there is an immediate rapport between the written material and the reader.

HONESTY: Honesty comes with great difficulty, whether it is in speech, in thought or in writing. It comes only when a person has a child-like openness and innocence. The best illustration is the classic story, “The King Has No Clothes”.

According to this story, the king had a fascination with new and exquisite clothes to the level of stupidity. The thieves milked him out of plenty of money but told him that the cloth would be visible only to the righteous. There is no righteousness in man, and there was no cloth too. Thus none was able to spot the cloth, but since admitting that one isn’t able to see it would be equal to admitting one’s unrighteousness, everyone kept praising the non-existent cloth — including the king, who should have shown better discernment. On the appointed day when the king came out and marched in public view in these “clothes”, put on him by the thieves, everyone praised both the material as well as the embroidery on the royal robe.

Ultimately it was a little boy who exclaimed, “the king has no clothes on”, and that brought the story to a good (or sad) ending. The thieves (knowing what’s going to happen soon) had fled by this time and it was no use looking for them. Not only was the stupid king standing naked, the royal treasure was also empty by now.

This loot would not have taken place in the first place if even a single person in the king’s service was willing to face reality. Honesty is neither easy nor cheap. This is much more so in real life. However, the Christian writer must be willing to rise to this height.

A Christian writer should never hide the truth. He should never stand on the side of sin, unrighteousness or hypocrisy. At the same time, his writings should not become cheap, vindictive, or profane in the name of honesty. Honesty requires that the writer tell ALL the truth that is REQUIRED for the upliftment of his audience, that he project no one as super saint because they do not exist, and that he speak to real-life problems in his writings.

GLORIFYING: All writings of a Christian should glorify God. This is not to imply that your writings on physics and philosophy should be loaded with Jehovahs and Hallelujahs, or that every other sentence should be a quotation from Bible. It, however, definitely means that the attitude with which you write, the way in which you present the case, and values that you propound should be glorifying to God.

Many people have found it possible to quote from the Bible even in their technical writings. This requires a lot of skill and insight, and it is great to realize that some writers are blessed with this ability. However, not everyone will be able to do this — nor is it required. Nevertheless, every writer can refrain from glorifying the profane and degrading the sacred. This does not require any training. This is not difficult to do, and represents only the bare minimum requirement.

It is expected that a mature Christian writer will be able to write in such a way that the Christian message is interwoven into his writings, leaving a permanent mark on the reader. That is glorifying to God, and that every Christian writer must do.

IT BUILDS UP A CHRISTIAN WORLD-VIEW: The ultimate aim of all Christian writing is to build up the Christian world-view in the reader. By Christian world-view I refer to an outlook that is Christian in every respect. Sin is seen as sin, and salvation by grace is seen as man’s most important need. Righteousness is loved and wrongdoing is loathed.

The Christian world-view motivates a person to evaluate everything related to life in the way God would want him to look at it. There is no compartmentalization into secular and sacred. EVERYTHING has to be evaluated in th2 – What Characteristics Must Be Seen In Christian Writings: Even a simpleton can detect the difference between the writings found in different kinds of publications. For example, he won’t find it difficult to distinguish between political, educational, scientific, or humorous writings. This is because all writings have their own characteristics. Christian writings also have some definite characteristics, and some of them are:

SIMPLICITY: in a social gathering with plenty of rich people, it is often very easy to distinguish who was born into riches and who has acquired it suddenly or recently only. The newly rich are often more showy, hollow, and vainglorious. Their conversation is laden with pomposity and arrogance. They are inflated. They look down upon others of lesser achievement or means.

The naturally rich, however, tend to be more relaxed, calm, and unassuming. You will often see them mingling freely with the rank of people that others consider below their level. These “natural” people have seen money right from their birth, and therefore have no identity crisis related to riches. The same is the case with writers.

Those who have not grown sufficiently in their Christian life, who have not matured yet, and who have not started viewing themselves as well as others with proper balance, often write somewhat like the new-rich. They are pompous, vain, and full of shallow statements. Their writings tend to be either shallow or loaded with high-sounding words. A growing Christian, however, has not illusions about himself or his writings. He suffers no identity crisis. He writes neither to show off his academic brilliance, nor to dazzle the readers with his Greek, but to communicate with them. A good Christian writer will, therefore, will exhibit simplicity whenever he communicates.

The simplicity will be seen in vocabulary, style of writing, and also the way in which deep Christian truths are communicated in an unassuming manner.

CONVICTION: It is possible for people to preach without conviction. They do so not to change lives but because there is some external compulsion to get the thing done. Such communication never brings results — whether it is communicated orally or through writing.

The Christian writer has a definite message for the world — for the perishing souls as well as for those who have been saved from damnation. He will be able to communicate this message effectively only if he has strong conviction about this truth and also about the need for people to hear the truth.

Just as simplicity of presentation results only when there is growth, conviction also grows upon a writer only when he maintains a close walk with the Lord.

Read the writings any Christian writer who has been able to change the lives of people. You will notice conviction oozing out of each sentence.

I must digress for a moment and tell you something about false cults, political ideologies, and errant movements. People belonging to each of these groups are marked by conviction, and that is one reason why their literature is successful in brainwashing millions of people every year.

If those who preach the gospel of destruction do it with such commitment and conviction, it is surely expected of the Christian writer that he would write with equal (or greater) conviction. Instead of a gospel of death, desolation, and destruction he is preaching a message of life and renewal. He must therefore have strong conviction, and that conviction should be visible in his writings. No conscious effort is needed, though. If it is there in the HEART, it will automatically come onto PAPER.

URGENCY: I have been interested in teaching all my life, and this has made me to notice great interest a special human phenomenon. Most members of the student community dream around and kill their time in wasteful activities almost all the year. Come the exam, they are filled with a sense of urgency. They go to the bookshops, and fall prey to countless advertisements that entice them with guarantees for sure success.

Scores of publishers in our country now bring out the “one evening” and “condensed” types of textbooks, study-notes, and “probable” question-answers. The advertisements devised by them remind students that time is SHORT and only these “guidebooks” will help them to pass the exam. A lot of students fall in for that trap.

When a message is communicated with a sense of urgency, it captivates a lot of people. Unfortunately, people who know this secret are using it at the wrong place. Only people giving out things of lasting value or things life-saving ought to give an impression or urgency.

The Christian writer has a message of redemption and hope for the perishing millions. In addition, he has a message for those who have come out of this way but who are still emulating the lifestyle on the “broad way”. This must change — and change it must immediately. This realization should fill the Christian writer with a sense of urgency to proclaim the message he has. Once there is a sense of urgency in the HEART of the writer, it will automatically show in his writings. This ought to be a distinguishing mark of every good Christian writing.IDENTIFICATION: Since the purpose of Christian writing is to help people, it must identify with people for whom it is written. If it is written for students, a student reading it ought to feel that it is really meant for him. The same is the case with writings produced for any other group whether they be scientists, pastors, office workers, businessmen, military personnel, lawyers, doctors, labourers, housewives, or the retired and the elderly.Identification with the reader requires that the writer recognize his target audience, their pains, problems, and aspirations. George Koshy, an accomplished writer, who often writes for the children, told me that the big publisher with whom he worked as an apprentice required him to spend several MONTHS in the company of children. He was required both to interact directly with them as well as observe them from a distance without any personal involvement. He was required to visit every place where there are children in abundance — schools, nurseries, parks, and even the neighbourhood street where they gather together.This exposure told him, for the first time how the world of children is different from that of adults. This is turn helped him to look at life and its problems from the eyes of children and compose articles and stories that address to these problems. This is true children’s literature because it identifies with the reader. It speaks to their problems, fancies, and aspirations, and needs using their language and their level of perception.

The Christian writer writes for various groups of people ranging from the super-intellectual to the mentally deficient, and from the richest person to the one who doesn’t know where his next morsel of meal is going to come from. The writer therefore has to choose topics that are suitable for the target audience, and then present it to him in idiom that is native to him.

Talking about the benefits of fish-eating to confirmed vegetarians and about self maintenance of air-conditioners to people who hardly have a pair of worn clothing is self defeating. So is talking about pastoral problems to housewives and philosophical theology with a man who is facing excruciating pain because of a terminal illness.

Identification requires some work. The writer has to decide his target audience, must learn about their pains and aspirations, and then must communicate to them in language with which they feel at home. Good Christian writings identify with their readers and there is an immediate rapport between the written material and the reader.

HONESTY: Honesty comes with great difficulty, whether it is in speech, in thought or in writing. It comes only when a person has a child-like openness and innocence. The best illustration is the classic story, “The King Has No Clothes”.

According to this story, the king had a fascination with new and exquisite clothes to the level of stupidity. The thieves milked him out of plenty of money but told him that the cloth would be visible only to the righteous. There is no righteousness in man, and there was no cloth too. Thus none was able to spot the cloth, but since admitting that one isn’t able to see it would be equal to admitting one’s unrighteousness, everyone kept praising the non-existent cloth — including the king, who should have shown better discernment. On the appointed day when the king came out and marched in public view in these “clothes”, put on him by the thieves, everyone praised both the material as well as the embroidery on the royal robe.

Ultimately it was a little boy who exclaimed, “the king has no clothes on”, and that brought the story to a good (or sad) ending. The thieves (knowing what’s going to happen soon) had fled by this time and it was no use looking for them. Not only was the stupid king standing naked, the royal treasure was also empty by now.

This loot would not have taken place in the first place if even a single person in the king’s service was willing to face reality. Honesty is neither easy nor cheap. This is much more so in real life. However, the Christian writer must be willing to rise to this height.

A Christian writer should never hide the truth. He should never stand on the side of sin, unrighteousness or hypocrisy. At the same time, his writings should not become cheap, vindictive, or profane in the name of honesty. Honesty requires that the writer tell ALL the truth that is REQUIRED for the upliftment of his audience, that he project no one as super saint because they do not exist, and that he speak to real-life problems in his writings.

GLORIFYING: All writings of a Christian should glorify God. This is not to imply that your writings on physics and philosophy should be loaded with Jehovahs and Hallelujahs, or that every other sentence should be a quotation from Bible. It, however, definitely means that the attitude with which you write, the way in which you present the case, and values that you propound should be glorifying to God.

Many people have found it possible to quote from the Bible even in their technical writings. This requires a lot of skill and insight, and it is great to realize that some writers are blessed with this ability. However, not everyone will be able to do this — nor is it required. Nevertheless, every writer can refrain from glorifying the profane and degrading the sacred. This does not require any training. This is not difficult to do, and represents only the bare minimum requirement.

It is expected that a mature Christian writer will be able to write in such a way that the Christian message is interwoven into his writings, leaving a permanent mark on the reader. That is glorifying to God, and that every Christian writer must do.

IT BUILDS UP A CHRISTIAN WORLD-VIEW: The ultimate aim of all Christian writing is to build up the Christian world-view in the reader. By Christian world-view I refer to an outlook that is Christian in every respect. Sin is seen as sin, and salvation by grace is seen as man’s most important need. Righteousness is loved and wrongdoing is loathed.

The Christian world-view motivates a person to evaluate everything related to life in the way God would want him to look at it. There is no compartmentalization into secular and sacred. EVERYTHING has to be evaluated in the light of the Scriptures. Further, this world-view involves a commitment to live a holy life and grow towards spiritual maturity. That is the ultimate aim of all true Christian literature, and that one should look for in everything that claims to be Christian writing.e light of the Scriptures. Further, this world-view involves a commitment to live a holy life and grow towards spiritual maturity. That is the ultimate aim of all true Christian literature, and that one should look for in everything that claims to be Christian writing.