My hope and confidence is that Pastor Rick Warren's prayer at the presidential inauguration on January 20 will be full of "eilikrineia"-that is, "judged by sunlight."
Isn't that a beautiful image? It is the meaning of the Greek word "eilikrineia," translated "sincerity," that the Apostle Paul uses three times to describe his own speech and conduct as he brings people the words of life:
"For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you" (2 Corinthians 1:12)
A note in my NKJV explains:
"The word alludes to Oriental bazaars where pottery was displayed in dimly lit rooms. Unscrupulous merchants would patch cracked pottery or cover defects with wax. Intelligent buyers would hold up the pottery to the sun and judge its quality by the sunlight. Eilikrineia is transparent honest, genuine purity, manifest clarity, and unsullied innocence. It describes one who does not fear thorough examination of his motives and intents, because he has nothing to hide."
Paul's linkage of "sincerity" to "simplicity" has been calling to me as a writer. The apostle is supremely concerned that his hearers' embrace of Christ not be based on his eloquence (such "faith" would dissipate after a few days) but on the Spirit's power intrinsic in the gospel itself. Though he is scholarly and could show off with the best of them, Paul has resolved the matter in his mind-to use only simple words that everyone can understand (2 Corinthians 1:13).
For a communicator to start approaching his task with this goal is to embark on a scary and thrilling revolution of style, resigning all the best wisdom of man for the fear of the Lord, and leading to who knows where.