Sunday, May 4, 2014

Authoring with Authority

I wonder why I tell my students they're writers instead of authors. Author is a much more powerful word. I think of authority. I think of taking control of something, in this case language, and making it behave.

Both author and authority derive from the same word--meaning to originate, promote, and increase. 

I love the connection between author and authority. When you author something, you bring some new thing about; you increase what you want to grow and promote what you must promote. You claim the authority to do this--you and nobody else--as you put the words on the page.

The act of authoring with authority reflects something of God's character. When we write, we become image bearers in a special way. Writing is an incarnation, really, a mystery as strange and beautiful as thought itself. (Where do thoughts originate? No scientist can tell you.) 

God authors. God originates. He can do this through us. 

With over a million words in the English language, the possible permutations for any sentence shut many writers down. But keep choosing and ordering. Keep increasing, promoting, and originating. 

It's a divine sort of act. 

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