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Issue 06 – Corpus Christi 2021

The Publisher's Desk

The Publisher's Desk

On names.


In the beginning—the first chapter of the book of Genesis, to be precise—God invents names. He not only creates day and night, but calls them such; He names the sky, the land, and the sea, each as He makes them. In the next chapter, as Adam settles in to do the earthly work he is given by God in Paradise, he imitates his Creator; the creatures of God’s creation are named by Adam, and “whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.”

Names define, they describe, they identify, and in an important sense, they invoke us. Christ tells His disciples that where two or more are gathered in His name, He is in their midst. For us, too, our names carry us with them—your good name can be sullied by others, or a woman’s name bandied by cads, and real damage is done to the person named. He whose name is praised in his absence gains by it. His reputation is added to, and he benefits. (For a meditation on the consequences of envy, see Robert Wyllie on envy, page 33.)

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