my card quotation

Posted on July 28, 2009 by Matt

If any of you have ever been given my business card you know that not only is it pretty sweet but there is a quotation on the back of it.  I am a fairly intentional and eloquent speaker, but the quotation on the back has only one of these traits, “intentionality.” Why, you may wonder, if I had the limited space of a business card would I desire to pure a non-eloquent quotation? The reason for that is the purpose of this entry.

“Seek that which is true and good and beautiful.” Two aspects of this sentence you will almost never find in my writings, coupling the cumbersome “that” and “which” together and separating three words with two “ands.” In explaining why I did this, I will likewise explain the quotation itself.

The true, good, and beautiful were a main part of the medieval philosophical mantra. They were deeply concerned with such things, if something did not access any of these qualities then it was relatively worthless. Today, we do not consider such things. Our mantra would be something like, “the cheap, obtainable, and the easy.” If I lived in an intellectual climate such as the medieval period my card would say, “seek the true, the good, and the beautiful” because they would understand such things quite easily. I put my awkward wording so that I would not “bed the question” that people know what is true, good, and beautiful. Or that, in a sense, I attempt to make people seek to understand what actually is truth, goodness, and beauty, and then commend them to seek it. Further, by putting “that” and “which” together it slows down the reading of the quotation so that a cursory glance will not be sufficient.

Finally, the reason for the double “and” was two fold. First, this likewise is meant to slow down the reading of the phrase so that it could not be read flippantly. The second reason is so that the reader would definitely consider the separateness and the togetherness of truth, goodness, and beauty. That one would realize that each of these has their own merit and significance, but they are also a culmination of traits. That, there is one being, who is alone, cannot be anything but “true,” is the epitome of “goodness” and is untouchable in “beauty.”

Essentially, I am urging people to think about what is true and good and beautiful and too not only seek those things but seek the fullness of these attributes, the LORD.

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