Because I am one of those nerds who cares about what is the right word to use, I have taken note that today is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Strunk and White’s Elements of Style.
I read this article a few days ago and have to admit was amused by the writer’s vehemence against EoS. I was also in agreement on some points. Abraham Piper, the Web content editor at Desiring God, today offers this helpful post over at Between Two Worlds that doesn’t come down so hard on Elements of Style but points to the usefulness of Merriam-Webster’s Concise Dictionary of English Usage.
If you care about presenting your words in a clear way and how they fit together, then this book is worth your time. You just may be a nerd, too, but that’s all right.
From Of First Importance:
“Suppose a man should come to his dinner table, and there should be a knife laid down, and it should be told him, ‘This is the very knife that cut the throat of your child!’ If the man would use this knife as a common knife, would not everyone say, ‘Surely this man had but very little love to his child, who can use this bloody knife as a common knife!’
Look upon the cross on which Christ was crucified, and the pains He suffered thereon—and the seeming sweetness which is in sin, will quickly vanish. When you are solicited to sin, cast your eye upon Christ’s cross; remember His astonishing sufferings for your sin, and sin will soon grow distasteful to your soul. How can sin not be hateful to us—if we seriously consider how hurtful it was to Jesus Christ?”
—Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures”
For the past five years, Dr. Wayne Grudem has been teaching through his comprehensive Systematic Theology in the Christian Essentials class at Scottsdale Bible Church. You can join in on the class as they offer the teaching online for free, including class outlines.
If you are unfamiliar with Systematic Theology, this is the description from the publisher:
The Christian church has a long tradition of systematic theology, that is, studying theology and doctrine organized around fairly standard categories such as the Word of God, redemption, and Jesus Christ. This introduction to systematic theology has several distinctive features:
– A strong emphasis on the scriptural basis for each doctrine and teaching
– Clear writing, with technical terms kept to a minimum
– A contemporary approach, treating subjects of special interest to the church today
– A friendly tone, appealing to the emotions and the spirit as well as the intellect
– Frequent application to life – Resources for worship with each chapter
– Bibliographies with each chapter that cross-reference subjects to a wide range of other systematic theologies.
This is an incredible opportunity to not only go through a great book, but have the author take you on the journey. For example, earlier this month Dr. Grudem taught “The Final Judgment and Eternal Punishment — Who will be judged? What is hell?” Buy the book and take the class. You won’t regret it.
HT: Justin Taylor