John Piper:

Most of us tend to gravitate to abstractions.

We say, “Men tend to choose lesser pleasures and reject greater ones.”

But Newton says, “The men of this world are children. Offer a child and apple and bank note, he will doubtless choose the apple.”

We say, “Men are foolish to fret so much over material things when they will inherit eternal riches.”

But Newton says:

Suppose a man was going to New York to take possession of a large estate, and his [carriage] should break down a mile before he got to the city, which obliged him to walk the rest of the way; what a fool we should think him, if we saw him ringing his hands, and blubbering out all the remaining mile, “My [carriage] is broken! My [carriage] is broken!”

This is not merely a matter of style. It is a matter of life and vitality.

It is a sign to your people that your mind is healthy and a means to awakening their health.

Sick minds can only deal in abstractions and cannot get outside themselves to be moved by concrete, external wonders.

And you will never be a tender person toward your people if you merely communicate the heaviness of unhealthy concepts and theories rather than the stuff of the world in which they live.

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Justin Taylor


Justin Taylor is senior vice president and publisher for books at Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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