My Wed AM email to leaders at Crestview is based on Paul Tripp’s book, Dangerous Calling:
“Heart Disease? Or Theology Problem?”
There’s been a trend in reason days (maybe since the Enlightenment?) to emphasize human reason over and against everything that stands in its way. And, this has subtly filtered into the church world. In certain pockets, there are people who believe (even though they might not verbalize this it is very much how they live) that if you have correct, orthodox beliefs or theology, then that is what God requires of you. Part of what Tripp is going after in Chapter 3 of Dangerous Calling, “Big Theological Brains and Heart Disease,” is this kind of thinking.
After recalling some history as to how he’s arrived at his conclusions, Tripp asks “What are we doing with the Word?” In this section, he says, “All creation is meant to be finger pointing us to ultimate glory, the only glory that can ever satisfy the human heart, the glory of God.” And, then, he uses that amazing illustration from Isaiah 55:10-13 and the conclusion: “The ultimate purpose of the Word of God is not theological information but heart and life transformation.”
After lamenting how theological institutions have become increasingly specialized, Tripp asks, “What the Danger?” What’s the danger in losing sight of God’s heart transformation through His Word:
1) Spiritual blindness – handling Scripture that doesn’t allow people to see themselves as they are
2) Theological self-righteousness – thinking maturity is more a matter of knowing that living
3) Dysfunctional personal relationship to the Word – study is more a world of correct ideas that a world of submission to the Lord
4) Lack of personal gospel neediness – not approaching God’s Word with tender, needy hearts
5) Impatience with others – being critical, dismissive, impatient with others
6) Wrong perspective on ministry – driven more by theological correctness than by worship of and love for the Lord Jesus Christ
7) No living communion with Christ – a Christ-less Christianity that puts hope in theology and rules and somehow forgets that if theology and rules had power to transform the heart of idolaters, Jesus would never have had to come, live, die and rise again.
So, in our church, where we love truth, are we in love with the Savior or drawn to mere academic growth? Let’s be careful to exalting reason at the expense of our hearts.
Grateful to be in trenches with you all…