Thursday, July 05, 2007

Pharisee, Part 3 - Knowing God

It seems like everything I've been reading lately relates well to this subject. Here is another chunk of wisdom, this one from Tim Keller:

Jonathan Edwards argued that both the rationalist fear of religious experience and the
emotionalistic excesses are incompatible with gospel-shaped faith. Edwards knew that, on
the one hand, the gospel has a content--it is a body of information that must be delved and
grasped, and that takes thinking and reflection. On the other hand, if a person studies the
gospel and it does not thrill and amaze and comfort them, that means that the gospel was
not understood. This is true because the gospel does not just bring God’s power, but it is the
power of God in truth form. This means that a Christianity without deep and abiding
emotion and passion is not true. But passion is never to be “worked up” directly. Rather,
passionless Christianity comes from a lack of understanding of the gospel. Nor do you work
up “discipline” by a sheer effort of the will. Rather, an undisciplined Christianity comes
from a lack of understanding of the gospel. Only if you truly understand the good news does
it enflame the heart and engage the will.
- From Tim Keller's Study on Galatians

For so many people, belief in God is an emotional trip. For the Pharisee, he has become a logical conclusion and an idea to argue over.

Belief in Christ and the desire to experience his reality results in a passion beyond any human emotional stirring (i.e. "I cried when I heard that song") or seminarian rambling (i.e. "Let me tell you what the Gospel is really about").

I like the use of the term "enflame the heart and engage the will". God is an experience in reality, not an idea on paper.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very well said by Keller!