Tuesday Re-mix –
In the world of visual art, the use of “negative space” is important. In any sculpture or painting, the artwork sometimes says as much by areas is doesn’t cover as it does by actually covering.
You and I would call it the “blank space” on the canvass, i.e., the area where the artist chose not to paint. That space becomes an integral part of the art itself. In fact, some might claim that the negative space the artist creates in a particular work is what makes the work perfect.
I have come to believe that part of the perfection of scripture, i.e., the Word of God, is the “negative space” it creates within its pages…parts of the story intentionally not told or clarified, left out for reasons only God knows.
For example, wouldn’t you like more details from Jonah about exactly what happened inside that fish for three days? If you were telling that story, wouldn’t you include that? Or what about Paul’s fight with Barnabas, or his confrontation of Peter? Don’t you think the details of those conflicts would be worth knowing? Or what about a single instance of Matthew 18:15 (Jesus’ model for how to conduct church discipline) actually modeled for us somewhere? Wouldn’t that be helpful?
For reasons only God understands, these and countless other “details” were omitted from the telling of His story. But rest assured, He does have his reasons. This “negative space” in scripture is a part of its perfection, it is critical in creating exactly the Word which God has preserved so perfectly throughout the centuries. In any of these instances, a little more detail might seem harmless enough at first blush, but would ultimately take away from the Word God intended.
A perfect example is the New Testament’s lack …