There may be a lot of mind vitamins in the next few days, patrons. I’m on vacation at the beach with lots of down time and good books to read. So, while I’m taking time for some deep thoughts, feel free to comment away!
Today’s are from Total Church: A Racial Reshaping around Gospel and Community by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis:
“In the church the risen Christ rules through his word. This is why the only skill required of church leaders is that they can teach, rightly handling and applying the word of God. Their authority is a mediated authority. They have no authority in and of themselves…They should not exercise an authority that comes because of the position they hold or the force of their personality.”
On the balance between the intellectual side of our faith and the emotional part of our faith:
“Spiritual experience that does not arise from God’s word is not Christian experience. Other religions offer spiritual experiences. Concerts and therapy sessions can affect our emotions. Not all that passes for Christian experience is genuine. An authentic experience of the Spirit is an experience in response to the gospel. Through the Spirit the truth touches our hearts, and that truth moves our emotions and affects our wills.
This also means that Bible study and theology that do not lead to love for God and a desire to do his will–to worship, tears, laughter, excitement, or sorrow–have gone terribly wrong. True theology leads to love, mission, and doxology (1 Timothy 1:5, 7, 17). We should not expect an adrenaline rush every time we study God’s word. We all express our emotions in different ways. But when we study God’s word we should pray that the Spirit of God will not only inform our heads but also inspire our hearts.
Part of our problem is that we often assume an experience of God will be some kind of revelation–a dream, an inner voice, a guiding sense of peace, an encounter, a word. This assumption is reinforced by mysticism and existentialism. But we have no reason to need or expect a revelation from God. God has revealed himself in his Son and in his word. And God’s word is wholly adequate and sufficient. But the Bible does lead us to expect other experiences of God through the Holy Spirit–love for God, love for others, assurance, joy, confidence, peace and so on. Word and Spirit give us a new desire for God (Romans 8: 5-9, 14: 17; Galatians 5:17).”
Provocative enough for ya?
Have at it, patrons.