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Rightly Dividing God's Word: Use a Rapidograph not a Barnbrush
-- Jeff, Sunday 02-21-2010, 1:10 pm CST --

Back in the early 1990s I saw a a lecture on the subject of mixed-use city planning by the noted architect Andres Duany. He delivered it to a civic group here in San Antonio, and video of it was broadcast several times on San Antonio's cable TV's Government Access channel. The first time I saw Duany's talk it grabbed my attention. I not only watched several repeats, I also recorded it on my VCR. Unfortunately the two copies I made were misplaced over the years. And by now even if they were found, I no longer own a videotape player.

What struck me were the principles that Duany adheres to in both his critique of modern city planning and in the solutions that he offers, not just in theory but in the real world. Principles which translate well into other fields of endeavor, including the one in which workmen of the Word of God work.

At one point in the lecture, Duany reminds his fellow professionals that they are designing places "where people live." In other words, that we should not lose sight of the big picture of what our work is all about, and the results that we are answerable for when we succeed or fail. As workmen of God's Word, one thing that hinges upon our success or failure in rightly-dividing God's Word can also be characterized as, "where people live," spiritually speaking. For God and the things of God can only be known from that Word. If we hash it to pieces, people will never know God.

At another point in the lecture, talking about the tools used to draw lines when designing neighborhoods, Duany challenges professionals to "use a pencil, use a pen," not "a magic marker." Because the lines that are drawn in urban planning must be fine lines. Likewise in studying to show ourselves approved unto God as workmen, not only must the lines we draw be bright, they must also be fine. When too often in my experience -- much too often -- workmen of the Word of God are drawing lines using a barn brush where they ought to be using a rapidograph.

There are other important princples that Duany illustrates in his lecture. So once in a while, remembering it, I had hoped to find one of the videotapes so I take it to a shop and have it transfered it to DVD. Gladly, now I don't have to find it. Because evidently during this Information Revolution that our society appears to be in, not a whole lot information-wise gets lost. I found the video of Duany's lecture, delivered to a small group in San Antonio all those years ago, on NuHerbAndIzm's Channel on YouTube. Cool! I believe that readers of the BRJ will enjoy viewing this lecture (and go ahead, TAKE NOTES!), which is presented in nine parts that last less than ninety minutes all tolled.



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