Friday, January 14, 2011

Doctrinal Books Lead to Devotion Better Than Devotional Books

C. S. Lewis:
"For my own part, I tend to find the doctrinal books often more helpful in devotion than the devotional books, and I rather suspect that the same experience may await others. I believe that many who find that ‘nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand."

B. B. Warfield:
"Sometimes we hear it said that ten minutes on your knees will give you a truer, deeper, more operative knowledge of God than ten hours over your books. What! Than ten hours over your books on your knees?”

This is a shameless copy and paste of Justin Taylor's fine post. Click here if you want to read the same thing on his blog.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kneeling Prayer & Theological Study

Dear Kent,
I respect C. S. Lewis’ writings and opinions. Some of the insights he had into Christianity are at once both uncanny and forthright. Unquestionably, I have no conflict with what he said here. It seems to go without saying, that God does meet people at all respective levels of genuine faith in Him. Genuine Christian faith can be either small (mustard-seed-size, Matthew 17:20 with Hebrews 5:12 and 6:1) or big such as that of the Roman centurion’s (Luke 7:9) or that of, say, John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11a).
Further, the Scriptures often refer to believing Israel and true worshipers among all gentiles (John 4:23; 11:52; Acts 11:18) as “the children of God.” A “mustard-seed-sized” genuine believer might be such an one as what Paul and Peter wrote about , for example in 1 Corinthians 8:7-12 and in 1 Peter 2:2, respectively. Thus, in a family, Kent, children are at all levels and stages of growth and maturation (1 Corinthians 13:11). While I agree there is a lot of heavy, “doctrinal meat and steak” to savor in a well-written theological treatise, as it were with a “pipe in your mouth” -- I, myself, and a respected, deep friend have also felt that way; yet I’m certain C. S. Lewis would agree that Christians delight the heart of their heavenly Father, as all children do -- regardless of size or age, book of devotion or theological text notwithstanding (Isaiah 62:5; 3 John 1:4).
* Luke 2:52 “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”
* Ephesians 4:13 “13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
And then concerning B. B. Warfield’s opinion, Kent, I feel God isn’t limited as to how, where, or in what way He might choose to meet us (2 Kings 5:14, 15; Luke 18:13; Acts 26:13.) God does invite all men and holy angels to kneel before Him (Psalm 95:6 cf 2 Chronicles 6:12 & 13; Acts 10:26; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 19:10; 22:9). But God accepts all forms and offers of holy worship (Quietness Psalm 46:9; Singing 100:4; Clanging loudness Psalm 150:5; Great humility Matthew 28:9; Desperation with loving respect Luke 23:42 & 43). --Dad.