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One of the best books on the craft of writing that I’ve read in a while is Verlyn Klinkenborg’s Several Short Sentences about Writing. Klinkenborg is a non-fiction author and editor, best known for writing about American rural life, who also serves on The New York Times’ editorial board.

His modest title conceals an audacious agenda. Klinkenborg assaults the accepted “wisdom” about writing process and structure, defies received orthodoxies about creativity and style and voice, questions our assumptions about language itself. His punchy, poetic observations about the writing process invited me to slow down, to notice, to create afresh. 

One of my favorite of Klinkenborg’s “short sentences” explores what it is that writing is for:

Writing doesn’t prove anything.
And it only rarely persuades.
It does something much better.
It attests.
It witnesses.
It shares your interest in what you’ve noticed.
It reports on the nature of your attention.
It suggests the possibilities 
Of the world around you.
The evidence of the world
As it presents itself to you.

Proof is for mathematicians.
Logic is for philosophers.
We have testimony.

He’s right: the best writing attests. Witnesses. Testifies.

This is why I love the Reformed Journal so much. It’s a space where, every single day, women and men bear witness. It’s a space where I can listen to an array of voices testify to Father, Son, and Spirit; goodness, beauty, and truth; past and present; life in all its beauty and ordinariness and tragedy. 

Would you join me in supporting this vital work? All the writing that appears here is a labor of love, but maintaining this site and helping it to serve you well isn’t free.

If you’re able and would like to give, check out our giving page where you can make a one-time or recurring gift of any size.

And, for those who make a donation of $300 or more, we’ve got a a number of goodies to lavish upon you. 

Thanks to all of you who partner with us, contribute, support. You’re giving the gift of testimony.

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Jared Ayers

Jared Ayers serves as the senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in North Palm Beach, Florida. Prior to this, he founded and served as the senior pastor of Liberti Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Western Theological Seminary & the Newbigin House of Studies. Jared and his wife Monica have been married for 16 years, and have been graced with two sons and a daughter.

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