Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A New Weekly Feature

Wednesday's Writing on Writing
Check back here every Wednesday for a few thoughts on the craft. Here are today's:

One of my favorite profs at Moody in 1968 was Dr. Wallace A. Alcorn, under whom I studied the Book of Acts. He proved an articulate and erudite writer, and we have kept in touch over the years.

He emailed me recently, telling me of an article he had seen in The New Yorker (Sept 7) in which Adam Gopnik described the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Michael Ignatieff (“The Return of the Native”), as a public intellectual and largely a writer. He “made his living by selling bits and pieces of his mind and his memory.”

Ignatieff himself admits: “The thing that’s missing in a writer’s life is a sense of being responsible to anybody beyond myself and my family—and tyrannical editors and idiotic reviewers.”

This caused Dr. Alcorn to muse most poignantly: "I feel very much accountable to my Lord, especially as He expressed His wishes in scripture, but also in what I am convinced the Holy Spirit is telling me in specific implementation. I am eternally accountable to my Lord and responsible to represent him and his Word as accurately and clearly as possible. His expectations of my work are, in my response and submission to them, absolutely tyrannical. No king has ever imposed such obligations upon a court scribe. But, then, no king has ever enabled and inspired his scribe as my King."


Hook 'em and Book 'em said...

Since a writer does need accountability, why not pick the Creator who provided the gift. Thanks for your comments.

Lynnda - Passionate for the Glory of God said...

Hello, Jerry,

I agree with Dr. Alcorn's comment. One of my greatest fears - and most often pleading for God's protection - is that I write nothing that would speak of Him wrongly. I think I have some understanding of the reason Old Testament writers refused to even write His name.

Be Blessed,


Barbara J. Robinson said...

We're responsible for following God's guidance and direction and listening closely for him to direct us down the right path, even in our writing endeavors. I work for God; He is my boss.

Jerry Jenkins said...

Thanks to those who caught the original goof on the title of the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.

D Actxiom said...

Hello, Jerry,
I read your "Riven" and really consider that one of the best novels I have ever read. The development of the characters, the Pastor and the wayward high schooler who is on death row was so good.
I look forward to meeting you at one of the Christian Writer conferences. Like so many, I have a novel to be written. It is about the church father (if you want to call him that)Bishop Athanasius and the Arian controversy.
If I could only write like you.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and Amen... we are accountable to God.

I hope and pray the Liberals do not gain a majority Government in Canada's next election, with that attitude.

Jerry Jenkins said...

Thanks, D Actxiom. Hope to see you in Denver in February. As you know, Philip Yancey and Max Lucado will be there. It's going to be great.