Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Watch the modifiers

Much attention is paid to the verbs in theological statements. This is good - see who is doing things. However, there is another way to check yourself - pay attention to your modifiers. Check where you adjectives and adverbs are placed, because they put emphasis on things.

Consider these two statements:

John *passionately* loves his Lord.
John loves his *gracious* Lord.

Passionately works as an adverb drawing attention to John's love, how much, how sincere his love is. Gracious works as an adjective, drawing attention to the Lord whom John loves - perhaps even explaining why John loves and is able to love his Lord.

Of course, the great wonder only comes when you flip subject and object - Jesus loves His John. But still - check the adjective and adverbs.

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