New Blog Title: Light and Heat

I have decided to change the name of this blog from "Mere Theology" to "Light and Heat." (The address will remain the same, at least for now).

Here's why:

1. Although the title "Mere Theology" was coined after C. S. Lewis' book Mere Christianity (which I love!), I have decided that I don't like the adjective "mere" in front of the word theology.

2. The title doesn't really fit the aims of this blog. The main purposes of my blog are both more broad and more narrow than doing "mere theology." My main purposes are (1) to stir up Christian thinking, primarily through posting my own thinking and my reflections on the thinking of great Christian thinkers - whether bloggers, authors, theologians, pastors, or preachers; and (2) to stir up Christian affection and practice, through posting reflections on both the interior and public life of a Christian.

To state it even more simply, I want this blog to help people pursue God with both the mind and the heart.

So, where does "Light and Heat" come from? Well, John Piper has used the phrase in numerous places, including as the title for a CD of several sermons produced by Desiring God. But I think Piper got it from Jonathan Edwards. And Jonathan Edwards got it from the Bible.

Jonathan Edwards once preached a sermon from John 5:35, where Jesus said of John the Baptist: “he was a burning and shining light.” Edwards insisted that two things must be married in the heart and life of a preacher: light and heat. He must not only shine, but he must burn.

Here's a quote:

“If a minister has light without heat, and entertains his auditory with learned discourses, without a savour of the power of godliness, or an appearance of fervency of spirit, and zeal for God and the good of souls, he may gratify itching ears, and fill the heads of his people with empty notions; but it will not be very likely to save their souls. And if, on the other hand, he be driven on with a fierce and intemperate zeal, and vehement heat, without light, he will be likely to kindle the like unhallowed flame in his people, and to fire their corrupt passions and affections; but will make them never the better, nor lead them one step towards heaven, but drive them apace the other way.”[1]

The point is that a minister needs both light (clarity in truth) and heat (fervency in heart). He needs a mind informed by the Word of God and a heart inflamed with with a passion for God. This is what I want my life to be about. This is what I want to encourage on this blog.

So, from now on, this blog is: Light and Heat: Meditations on Pursuing God with Both Mind and Heart.

[1] The Works of Jonathan Edwards (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1974 reprint) 2:958

4 comments:

Greg said...

Brian, I like the new name. My first reaction was dismay, but you raise some good points in your post. Theology (knowledge of God) should never be "mere".
One thing - did you check, I'm sure you did, noone else is using this title?
Good to have you back from vacation. Looks like you are making up for lost time.

Brian G. Hedges said...

I did a little looking around and have found some similar sites, but nothing quite like mine. Unfortunately, the url http://www.lightandheat.blogspot.com/ is taken - and by someone who named his blog Truth & Passion with only one anti-Bush, pro-Kerry post from March 2004! Too bad. But for now, I'm keeping my url, just so regular readers can still find it.

BTW, are you Charlie's friend, Greg? He's told me about you, though we've never met.

Ben Seal said...

Great change!

Greg said...

No, I don't know Charlie. I doubt I know anyone from your church. I live in Edwardsburg and found your church through 9 Marks' Church Search feature. I've never visited, but I will someday. I do enjoy your writing and your preaching, so keep up the good work. Your flock is blessed to have a shepherd who loves God and His Word so much and who is gifted and called to write of it and preach it.