Sunday, July 26, 2009

God, help! This theology stuff is boring me!

by David Morris

The weakness of religious affections is just one of the many hazards of an age that disdains doctrine. Nowadays, people foolishly separate doctrine from practice and completely divorce it from emotion. “Dry theology” has somehow become the polar opposite of “warm affections.” Emotion in worship, public or private, tends to be unappreciated, devalued, or even non-existent. Hear this pastoral word from Jonathan Edwards, perhaps the greatest theological mind in American history:

We are nothing if we are not in earnest about our faith, and if our wills and inclinations are not intensely exercised. The religious life contains things too great for us to be lukewarm.

We find that people exercise the affections in everything else but religion! When it comes to their worldly interest, their outward delights, their honor and reputation, and their natural relations, they have warm affection and ardent zeal. In these things their hearts are tender and sensitive, easily moved, deeply impressed, much concerned, and much engrossed. They get deeply depressed at worldly losses, and highly excited at worldly successes.

But how insensible and unmoved are most men about the great things of another world! How dull then are their affections! Here their love is cold, their desires languid, their zeal low, and their gratitude small. How can they sit and hear of the infinite height, depth, length, and breadth of the love of God in Christ Jesus, of His gift of His infinitely dear Son offered up as a sacrifice for the sins of men, and yet be so insensible and regardless! Can we suppose that the wise Creator implanted such a faculty of affections to be occupied in this way? How can any Christian who believes the truth of these things not realize this?


May God give us help to delight in doctrine, to be thrilled with theology, to exult in Him.

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

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