Tuesday, April 27, 2004


It came up today--and frankly, it most often confuses me, and maybe you--so I thought I'd post the defs and diffs:

Affect and effect have no senses in common. As a verb affect is most commonly used in the sense of “to influence” (how smoking affects health). Effect means “to bring about or execute”: layoffs designed to effect savings. Thus the sentence These measures may affect savings could imply that the measures may reduce savings that have already been realized, whereas These measures may effect savings implies that the measures will cause new savings to come about.


TRANSITIVE VERB: Inflected forms: af•fect•ed, af•fect•ing, af•fects
1. To have an influence on or effect a change in: Inflation affects the buying power of the dollar. 2. To act on the emotions of; touch or move. 3. To attack or infect, as a disease: Rheumatic fever can affect the heart.

NOUN: (fkt)1. Feeling or emotion, especially as manifested by facial expression or body language: “The soldiers seen on television had been carefully chosen for blandness of affect” (Norman Mailer). 2. Obsolete A disposition, feeling, or tendency.


NOUN: 1. Something brought about by a cause or agent; a result. 2. The power to produce an outcome or achieve a result; influence: The drug had an immediate effect on the pain. The government's action had no effect on the trade imbalance. 3. A scientific law, hypothesis, or phenomenon: the photovoltaic effect. 4. Advantage; avail: used her words to great effect in influencing the jury. 5. The condition of being in full force or execution: a new regulation that goes into effect tomorrow. 6a. Something that produces a specific impression or supports a general design or intention: The lighting effects emphasized the harsh atmosphere of the drama. b. A particular impression: large windows that gave an effect of spaciousness. c. Production of a desired impression: spent lavishly on dinner just for effect. 7. The basic or general meaning; import: He said he was greatly worried, or words to that effect. 8. effects Movable belongings; goods.

TRANSITIVE VERB: Inflected forms: ef•fect•ed, ef•fect•ing, ef•fects
1. To bring into existence. 2. To produce as a result. 3. To bring about.

Now we can all speak and write a little more clearly... if only the memory holds out


Yesterday in Lifespan Development, we turned in the infamous “takehome exam”—consisting of a conceptual chart summarizing the interrelatedness of intellectual, moral, personal, and worldview (my own addition—a recasting of Fowler’s faith dev, which does not explain Christian faith development at all IMHO) development, and 5-7 pages of explanation (too fun!). After we turned in our papers, the prof put up his chart. The x-axis was intellectual development and the y-axis was spiritual development. All the other types of development were mentioned in the chart, but intellectual development was obviously the most important in his model. My own made spiritual development the big center arrow, with intellectual, moral, personal, and worldview all affecting and being affected by spiritual development—frankly, it would have been better as a sculpture, but that was not an option for this test.

Today in my reading I find the Jollyblogger talking about John Piper’s take on the relationship of intellect, emotion, and faith. Here’s a bit from Piper’s article:

“Minimizing the importance of transformed feelings makes Christian conversion less supernatural and less radical. It is humanly manageable to make decisions of the will for Christ. No supernatural power is required to pray prayers, sign cards, walk aisles, or even stop sleeping around. Those are good. They just don't prove that anything spiritual has happened. Christian conversion, on the other hand, is a supernatural, radical thing. The heart is changed. And the evidence of it is not just new decisions, but new affections, new feelings.

Therefore, let us affirm the slogan [Fact…Faith…Feeling] when it means that physical sensations are not essential. But let us also make clear that the locomotive of fact is not headed for heaven if it is not followed by a faith that treasures Christ, and if it is not pulling a caboose-load of imperfect, but new, affections.”

In the article, he says what would seem to be obvious: that intellect, just like emotion, is damaged by sin. Emotions—or better “affections,” a la Jonathan Edwards—are important as well. Note Isaiah 29:13-14:

13 Then the Lord said,
"Because this people draw near with their words
And honor Me with their lip service,
But they remove their hearts far from Me,
And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,
14 Therefore behold, I will once again deal marvelously with this people, wondrously marvelous;
And the wisdom of their wise men will perish,
And the discernment of their discerning men will be concealed."

Here in Isaiah, God tells his people that their narrow focus on intellect and outward acts has gotten them into serious trouble. God’s solution is to once again WOW them, knock their intellectual socks off, and get back the religious affections they had at the beginning. Now, knowledge of and reliance upon the foundational facts of the faith is important. But a crucial fact is that we are whole persons; we are not minds. Intellectual, moral, psycho-social, and worldview development all have a part in the spiritual maturation of believers. When we emphasize one over another, we get out of balance and spiritual maturation is hindered.

So, what does holistic spiritual maturation look like? How can the local church support this kind of spiritual maturation? What hindrances does the local church erect that need to be taken down? What encouragements need to be emphasized? What needs to change?

Monday, April 26, 2004

Yes, more flowers...

...what can I say. I like 'em. They're posted over at The Fotolog.

Too Funny...

Proposed "book title" from the Real Live Preacher

"What Would Jabez Do If He Was Left Behind With Someone Whose Only Purpose in Life Was to Force-Feed Him Chicken Soup?"

Oh, the comments I could make...