The author of this blog, Paul Joseph, has a relatively broad background. He spent his childhood years on a small farm in rural Pennsylvania, and eventually earned a PhD in the biological sciences at The University of Texas. Among other jobs, Paul has worked for the Bureau of Forestry and has taught biology classes at two different universities. He has carried out scientific research in NASA laboratories, and he has published original research in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Paul has investigated various facets of Christianity and biblical study with the same intensity with which he pursued his scientific research. At a certain point in his life, Paul felt led of the Lord to serve the next generation in the college campus mission field, which he has done in coordination with others for many years. He has traveled widely and fellowshipped with Christians in many different countries and territories on the earth. He has also conversed with hundreds of people of other faiths, as well as atheists. Through his life experience Paul has observed a curious phenomenon that has been repeated over and over again in diverse sectors of civilization, culture, and society: ONE WORD CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING. The purpose of this blog is to extensively document this phenomenon, and, when appropriate, to incorporate a biblical application or perspective. The blog was launched in December 2011.
I love this blog idea! Looking forward to your posts.
Paul, I’ve looked at your blog several times. Today I was thinking about your title and the word “For” (capitalized because it is often the start of a verse). Too many times we mentally make each verse an isolated unit and then misunderstand it. “For” or another connecting word at the start of the next verse should shatter the mental isolation and give us the true picture through the continuation of the divine thought. One word does make a difference.
Paul Joseph said:
Thank you, Don, for your comment. It is very insightful and helpful to further the notion that one word can change everything. I do not get a chance to be online or blog as much as I should, but I’m trying to be more regular with posting new words. Thanks for your patience and input.
Hello, may I know how one word can change everything? Does it literally mean one?
Paul Joseph said:
Thank you, Ruth, for viewing my blog and taking the time to leave a comment (unfortunately it has been several months since my last post, but your interest has renewed my desire to keep writing). Yes, literally one word, I believe, can change everything. It can change everything in the way we perceive a particular situation, or the way we understand what we heard. Our whole paradigm can literally be turned upside down based on one single word or phrase. The intention of my blog is to document cases in which this phenomenon has occurred. Being a Christian, I have drawn much of my material from the Bible, since I have seen over the decades that Christians can come up with entirely different understandings based on a reading of the same passage. In my own experience I can point to numerous examples where literally one word or phrase changed everything for me in the way I currently understand a particular Scripture or a topic in the Bible. But I am trying to balance this by also including examples from other realms of human experience, such as science or politics or family life and etc. Much grace to you, Ruth!
Many Christians, and some non-Christians, know that Romans 8:28 speaks about God causing all to work for good. If this verse is isolated, it is too easy to assume that “good” is related to health, education, job, family, etc. However, verse 29 begins “Because.” This one word indicates that verse 29 is an explanation of verse 28. If we pay attention to “Because” then the isolation ends and we must admit that “good” is being conformed to the image of God’s Son in verse 29 (even if our outward situation is “bad” such as Paul in prison). This is an example of one word making a difference.
Thank you for clarifying it brothers Paul and Don.. If a word is that crucial, this must be why brother Lee is so particular even for the small words like the prepositions, isn’t he? I agree that ” Christians can come up with entirely different understandings based on a reading of the same passage”.. I appreciate it that even in the spiritual things, like the Bible, we learn to be aware of the small details (which is an attitude science is teaching us being that I study chemistry). Thank you for the example brother Don. It reminds me of a friend who said, “I don’t believe in God. If He is real, where is He when I needed Him?” I had wanted to give him that verse. However, I’m not sure if he would understand it because the verse says “to those who love God”. Then I thought if he does not believe in God, surely he doesn’t love Him, does he? But thank the Lord that there is the “because”. Whether he loves the Lord or not, whether he believes into Him or not, he can know that the Lord Himself did not live an easy life on earth and by being conformed to Him, we cannot expect our lives to be easy. God bless you brothers Paul and Don!
Paul Joseph said:
Thanks, Don, for another great example. Also, I am glad that this dialogue has been helpful to you, Ruth. I really need to make the time to post some more.
I read Christians on Campus is Not a Cult. You show clearly how one word can make a negative difference. This reminded me of “mansions” in John 14:2, which has spawned many speculations. I touched this a little in one post on my blog, and suggest you address it sometime in the future. Grace to you.
In my NT reading I sometimes am touched by one word. Those experiences remind me of your blog. I am retired and have a little time free. Would you like me to occasionally guest write a post for your blog?
You may reply to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.