Thursday, 17 July 2008

Untheological devotion

As I mentioned in my last blog I am rereading Andrew Murray’s enriching commentary on the letter to the Hebrews in which he expounds the astounding greatness and wonder of our Lord Jesus Christ, who He is, what He has done and all that He now is for us as our high priest in heaven. As I read I find myself again and again lifting my heart in worship and thanksgiving for so great a Saviour.

Some time ago I noted in my diary a comment from one of Handley Moule’s studies in Scripture. He says we must “Beware of an untheological devotion” On that I wrote the following:

True devotion only springs from knowledge of God and from an understanding in the spirit of the revelation of Christ in the Scriptures. Such theological devotion has a firm foundation. It is not based on mere sentiment or emotion. To grasp, for example, the soaring theology of Colossians 1:15-20 is to fall down in worship of the glorious one revealed there. I fear that much of the weakness of believers today is due to Moule’s “untheological devotion”. Lacking a solid base devotion tends to evaporate when the emotions subside and there is no excitement to fuel it.

A few days later in my reading of a book by P.T. Forsyth written in the early 1900s I found this which is equally relevant for today. “We are living in a time when spirituality without a positive content seems attractive to many minds. And numbers may grow of those favouring an undogmatic Christianity which is without apostolic or evangelical substance, but cultivates a certain emulsion of sympathetic mysticism, intuitional belief and benevolent action”

Only today in a weekly Christian publication in New Zealand is an article lamenting the neglect of the Scriptures by Christians. The article states that research has shown that in this country only 11% of Christians read the Bible daily and 13% weekly.

I am reading also a fascinating biography of William Tyndale the man who, at the cost of his life gave us the Scriptures in English in the 16th. Century. His God-given passion was that every ploughboy in England would have the word of God in his own language. The church of the day branded him a heretic, banned his translations and he had to flee England to the continent, where he was hounded and hunted by his ecclesiastical enemies until they finally found him and burned him at the stake. But his work was done and his translations were the food of those who led the Reformation in England. What a debt we owe to that courageous man. He knew where the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ was to be found and he knew that in the Scriptures was the key to true devotion. May we never neglect this treasure.


Blogger Desert Pilgrim said...

I know this post was written a couple of years ago, but I have just now discovered your blog and wanted to say how much I appreciate all your posts. I have had the Andrew Murray book for over 30 years. It is indeed a treasure.

10 June 2010 at 9:05 am  

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