|You scored as Jonathan Edwards. You’re the original hellfire-and brimstone preacher and you take God’s justice very seriously. You are passionate about preaching and an accomplished theologian.
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just read the article. a few comments. first, a qualifier: this is a good word for us to hear. obviously, nobody is going to disagree with McLaren’s premise. then comes the HOWEVER…he makes the statement: ‘that too many of our most “educated” Christians are some of the meanest’. here he gives a general sweep with no examples or reasons for prompting him to write this article. who exactly does he have in mind? and now people reading the article are drawing the inference that less education equals more godliness. i have met many people, and many christians (as i work customer service for a well-known christian book company) who are not educated at all and are extremely mean. just look at many fundamentalists who actually downplay education and can be some of the meanest people. and on the contrast, most all the smartest people around me are the nicest also. i was all but ousted from a church because i had “too much” education. i just guess that the 12 inch head/heart distance thing has become very cliche. i honestly think that we act on what we believe. i don’t think knowledge is the issue, so much as it is faith. i mean, come on, people are so afraid of “knowledge” that all you hear in churches is application. having gone through a seminary that has a “spiritual formation” class/program, requiring “spirituality”, i really think that McLaren’s statements about this are not helpful. our class was a royal waste of time. think about it, do we really think that the major problem in christendom is that people are “over-educated”? absolutely not! quite the opposite. to experience or learn Christ, you must learn about him. i know that i am automatically the bad guy as soon as I critique an article about being more godly. maybe i would have been better served by this article if he made it more narrative and described some of the negative experiences he has had with the “more” educated rather than just generalizing. as Piper said on Edwards:
“How many people in your churches do you know that are laboring to know God, who are striving earnestly in study and prayer to enlarge their vision of God. Precious few. Well then, what will become of our churches if we the pastors, who are charged with knowing and unfolding the whole counsel of God, shift into neutral, quit reading and studying and writing, and take on more hobbies and watch more television?”
“If the single-minded occupation with these things is left to a few academic theologians in the colleges and seminaries, while pastors all become technicians and managers and organizers, there may be superficial success for a while, as Americans get excited about one program or the other, but in the long run the gains will prove shallow and weak, especially in the day of trial.”
“You recall what Mark Noll said: ‘Edwards’s piety continued on in the revivalist tradition, his theology continued on in academic Calvinism, but there were no successors to his God-entranced world-view. . .’ The sweet marriage of reason and affection, of thought and feeling, of head and heart, study and worship that took place in the life of Jonathan Edwards has been rare since his day and still is rare.”
“In other words, it is to no avail merely to believe that God is holy and merciful. For that belief to be of any saving value, we must ‘sense’ God’s holiness and mercy. That is, we must have a true delight in it for what it is in itself. Otherwise the knowledge is no different than what the devils have. ”
“Does this mean that all his study and thinking was in vain? No indeed. Why? Because he says, ‘The more you have of a rational knowledge of divine things, the more opportunity will there be, when the Spirit shall be breathed into your heart, to see the excellency of these things, and to taste the sweetness of them.’ (Works, II, 162, see p.16)”
“But the goal of all is this spiritual taste, not just knowing God but delighting in him, savoring him, relishing him. And so for all his intellectual might, Edwards was the farthest thing from a cool, detached, neutral, disinterested academician.”
I mean not to generalize here myself, I just think that we need an Edwards-like model to help us balance. Thoughts?
“It has become increasingly difficult to secure a broadcast location…” or something like that. So says Morpheus at the beginning of The Matrix: Reloaded. It doesn’t really apply to me for location but for time. He says this after the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar show up late for a meeting and he says, “My apologies to all…” I myself have realized recently that I have not blogged at all this month. I’ve been incredibly busy working, spending quality time with my wife, and giving birth to school work due for the seminary. Good news is, it looks like I will soon be joining the normal first shift people in the world within the next few weeks. The job I’ve been waiting for all summer to open at the seminary bookstore is finally available and, Lord willing, I will be starting as soon as things there get cleared. Same pay, same benefits, except I’m accessible and off the phones aside from the calls I make. Kalila started at my work last week and has the same shift, so it has been weird taking her to work with me as an employee.
I am a sinner; I’ve thrown my lot into 3 fantasy football leagues: 1 with friends, 1 with work, and 1 public. My first draft is tomorrow for the public league. Next Sunday is my friend’s league, and the following Saturday, my birthday no less, is the work league’s draft in the morning.
Steve Stockman has updated his book Walk On: The Spiritual Journey of U2 that he published in 2001. This is a welcome update since their newest ablum would be a significant contribution to that theme. He’s added about 5 new chapters and is definitely worth checking out. Stockman is a Presybterian chaplain at Queen’s University in Belfast. He has a pretty groovy sight worth checking, http://www.stocki.ni.org/. However, I still prefer Bono’s conversation book.