The Power of Words – an Excerpt from Beginning with the Word

The following is an excerpt from Beginning with the Word, by Roger Lundin.


Cover ArtWe begin with words. Without them, there would be no literature. We would have no poems or plays, no lyrics or stories, no memories or dreams, not even any names.

With words, we pledge our love to one another, we rail against wrongs in our homes and injustices across the seas, we chart the course of the past, we map the contours of the future, and we remember what—and whom—we have lost.

But what are these things we know as words? What strength do they possess? What is the source of their power to “breed Infection” and make us “inhale Despair” centuries after they have been written or printed? What weaknesses might words reveal? What do they have to do with the gritty realities of our lives or the glittering visions we imagine for the future?

That words have power of some sort, virtually everyone would agree, including St. John, William Shakespeare, and Emily Dickinson. But beyond that point, out in the vast universe of language usage, the disputes begin and the battles are fought over the nature and meaning of words.

According to the Gospel of John, the Triune God provides the secret to the source and power of words. “In the beginning was the Word,” John announces, “and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.” For John, the Word is personal and powerful beyond imagining. From the nucleus of the smallest cell to the edge of the farthest galaxy, at the heights of joy and in the depths of sorrow, the Word abides.

©2014 by Roger Lundin. Published by Baker Academic. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.


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