The blog has been quiet recently. Last week I was busy making final edits to the Lit! manuscript. On Friday I stuffed the manuscript with all my handwritten edits into a FedEx envelope and shipped it back to my editor. The last 18 months have been a lot of fun and I hope to reminisce a bit on the blog later this summer about the writing experience, what I learned, the interesting books I read, the interesting people I met along the way, etc.
This week the blog will be again quiet since I’m enjoying some time with the family at the beach (obx). It has been quite a lot of fun and I have enjoyed quite a lot of time to read on this trip. Anticipating this free time I brought two books with me: Jonathan Edwards’ Charity and Its Fruits (Gerstner edition) and Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables (Rose translation).
Don Carson calls Les Miz “magnificent” and an illustration of how “God’s love so transforms us that we mediate it to others, who are thereby transformed” [Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God, 82].
Edwards and Hugo work nicely together. Edwards expounds love, Hugo models love. The one explains from Scripture the importance and value of love, the other reveals the radical life of one loving man. Edwards encourages me to love because of God’s value on love. Hugo encourages me to love because of Monseigneur Bienvenu’s loving life. Edwards does what great sermons are intended to do: biblically illuminate, convince, and then move to action. Hugo does what great literature can do: delight the reader and then instruct.
Edward is direct, Hugo is indirect, yet both authors are working on my hard heart, softening it one line after another, pulverizing my pride, dulling the edges of my self-centeredness, just like the ceaseless ocean waves rolling and smashing the hardest rocks, broken glass, and the sharpest shells, by first taking off the edges and then breaking them down again into sand with its peaceful violence.