“Letter and Liturgy” is a phrase that has captivated me for a long while now. The more I thought about it, the more its meaning became apparent to me. The beautiful, literary expression of ideas, practices, and beliefs of the Christian faith—this is, I think, the essence of what the name means.
Truth and beauty are easy to separate. In fact, most of us do separate them. Whether we’re talking about Christian art that is biblical but kitschy and cheap, or whether we’re encountering gorgeously articulated ideas that splash like acid on the gospel, we know from experience how often man can separate what God has joined together. Cold fundamentalism on one hand, exuberant self-authentication on the other. This seems to describe the majority of our experience as believers in Christ. Is there any hope of undoing this?
That’s why I’m writing here. The world doesn’t need another Christian website, blog, or publication. Of course it doesn’t. Letter & Liturgy is not necessary whatsoever. But that’s not why I’m writing. I’m not writing because God needs me to write. I’m writing because God has made it so that I need to write. I need to preach to myself. I need to keep truth and beauty together in my own heart. I need Letter & Liturgy far more than anyone else needs it.
My hope, and my expectation, is that the feelings and desires I’ve described here apply to other people. In fact, I know they do. I’ve had the conversations, I’ve read the reflections, and I’ve heard the prayers. This space is a humble effort to respond to the tragic divorce of truth from beauty, of goodliness from godliness, of the right words from the eternal Word. If that effort resonates with you, I hope you will find here a balm for your mind and your soul.
Psalm 33:3 says, “Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.” That’s what I want to do: Sing skillfully, to Him.