Experience and Truth, Pt. 1

“The irony is that many conservative Christians, most concerned about conserving true and sound doctrine, neglect the importance of prayer and make no effort to experience God, and this can lead to the eventual loss of sound doctrine. [John] Owen believes that Christianity without real experience of God will eventually be no Christianity at all.”~~Tim Keller

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Look up! Look down! Look out! Look around! There’s a crazy world outside; we’re not about to lose our pride.

Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is impeccable. “not capable of sinning or liable to sin; free from fault or blame : flawless.” Reminds me of a song by Mercy Me.

No matter the bumps
No matter the bruises
No matter the scars
Still the truth is
The cross has made
The cross has made you flawless
No matter the hurt
Or how deep the wound is
No matter the pain
Still the truth is
The cross has made
The cross has made you flawless

Oh, my. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that video. It literally left me in tears.

Moving on.

Today is Sourest Day. Heheh. The opposite of “Sweetest Day,” I guess. If you want to be grumpy today, this is your day!

We had a nice day, yesterday, once we got through with the grocery shopping. We had lunch at Cheddar’s with Rachel and Justin, and, in between watching episodes of Bob’s Burgers on Netflix, we had some great conversation. It was deep conversation and had potential to be depressing, but I don’t think we let it get that way.

This morning, we plan to be at church by 8:15, so I need to get a move on and get finished by 8:00.

Jon Anderson of Yes turns 71 years old today.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)

“Where light leaves the affections behind, it ends in formality and or atheism; where affections outrun light they sink into a bog of superstition, doting on images and pictures or the like.” Thus says John Owen, as we continue looking at the balance between truth and experience in the Christian life. In this quote, “light” is referring to sound doctrine and truth. Our understanding of truth cannot leave our affections behind.

“If we believe with our minds that God is holy, we must also come to find his holiness enjoyable and satisfying just to praise it. If we believe the great God of the universe really loves us, it should make us emotionally unshakable in the face of criticism, suffering, and death. In short, we must be able to existentially access our doctrinal convictions.” (Tim Keller)

If we do not combine doctrinal soundness with spiritual heart experience, it will eventually become marginal Christianity, or worse, unbelief.

Says Keller, “The irony is that many conservative Christians, most concerned about conserving true and sound doctrine, neglect the importance of prayer and make no effort to experience God, and this can lead to the eventual loss of sound doctrine. [John] Owen believes that Christianity without real experience of God will eventually be no Christianity at all.”

In a future entry, we will look at the dangers of going too far in the other direction.

Father, I pray that you will always lead me to experience you in the heart, while holding true to the doctrines I have learned from your Word. In short, do not let me run ahead with either doctrine or experience. I pray for balance in my life.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

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