Pillars & Pages
I doubt great novelists from the 19th century would do well in the writing contests I enter. Oftentimes they will moralize about a subject for a paragraph or two, or even a chapter. “What does this have to do to advance the plot?” one thinks as one reads about the different kinds of whales in Moby Dick.
While reading The Hunchback of Notre Dame, I came across a chapter where Victor Hugo waxes poetic about architecture and how it will be deposed by printing. Pretty sure I only got half his point. The following sentence, however, stood out.
“Thus, to recapitulate briefly, the human race has two books, two registers, two testaments: architecture and printing, the stone Bible and the paper Bible.” (Book V, Ch. 2 “This Will Kill That”)
Architecture is the art of the tangible. You can stand before the edifices of Notre Dame, the Pyramids, the Colosseum, and other man-made wonders and marvel at the testimony of human creativity that speaks to our senses.
The creative power of printing is not in the actual pages, as e-books have proved, but in the intangible — the creativity of thought and ideas. As we read the words of the printed word, it speaks to our soul.
Established Earth; Settled Word*
God revealed Himself in two ways. We call them General Revelation and Special Revelation.
General revelation is the visible earth and heavens. The Creator’s design and architecture are clear to those who allow themselves to see that it testifies of God.
- “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.” (Ps 19:1)
- Indeed My hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and My right hand has stretched out the heavens; when I call to them, they stand up together. (Is. 48:13)
- For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” (Col. 1:16)
- “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:3)
Special Revelation is the revelation of God through His word: the printed Bible. From the first verse to the last, we we are introduced to the God who created what we can see, smell, hear, taste, touch.
- The first verse – “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1)
- The last verse – “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” (Rev. 22:21)
General revelation may tell of the God who created our senses. Special revelation tells how that same God created our souls — and how and why He wants to recreate them.
I don’t know how God plans to remake this old world, but I know that the Word Who was there in the beginning when it was created will be there to create it in the end. That is the Word that will never pass away.
“The invention of printing was the greatest event in history. It was the parent revolution; it was the fundamental in mankind’s mode of expression…. When put into print, thought is more imperishable than ever; it is volatile, intangible, indestructible; it mingles with the air…. We repeat: who does not see that in this form thought is more indelible? Instead of becoming solid it has become long-lived. It has exchanged durability for immortality.” — Victor Hugo
“The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever.” (Is. 40:8)
* Psalm 119:89-90
89 Forever, O Lord,
Your word is settled in heaven.
90 Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
You established the earth, and it abides.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.