1Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,
2Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;
3It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,
4That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.
This seems like a very good frame to describe a large portion of what the Church is and does. Through preaching, bible study, testimony, worship, through the declaration of our lives reordered by the Cross: we declare what we surely believe. We do it as orderly as we can so the message is clear. We bear witness to what God has been accomplishing, from the beginning (through Biblical exegesis) up until now (through conversation, testimony, expression both rhetorical and artistic.)
When we show charity, we are setting forth an orderly declaration: “This is what God has been doing. What He will continue to do.” When we say no to certain activities and yes to others, we declare the same. When we create music, art, writings in any arena, we are setting forth an orderly declaration of those things we most surely believe.
If we love outside the context of that declaration, our love is shortsighted, powerless, and easily blunted. Love within that declaration contains power without end because it includes the consolation of heaven and the eventually realized justice of God.
And when we speak outside the context of that primary declaration, our speech is self serving, circular, disingenuous. All of our speech flows from that central declaration and must include a proximity alarm so that, when we are speaking far from that center, we find ways to remind ourselves and others what we believe the center to be. Christ should be the root supposition from which all of our other ideas are derived.
When we dream (through art, music, fiction, etc.,) our dreams must come from that same ordered declaration. Every piece should not be a direct allegory or a weak evangelistic tract (a position so close to the center of the wheel) because this would imply that the wheel has a containable diameter, that it cannot extend in all directions infinitely. A Christian carrying on Luke’s mission can write about prostitutes because Luke wrote about prostitutes. Because Jesus is everything and therefore everything can be revealed most pertinently through him.
If you are a Christian who shares in Luke’s mission, carry on. Speak, love, dream in such a way that you set forth in order that same declaration. There is you can do outside of that context that would matter and the things you do will only matter to the degree they are within that context.
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