What I Read Online – 08/11/2012 (a.m.)

11 Aug
    • The 18th-century Scottish poet James Thomson claimed that to read was to “converse with the mighty dead.”
    • Of all the inanimate objects, of all men’s creations, books are the nearest to us, for they contain our very thought, our ambitions, our indignations, our illusions,”
    • So many have cleaved to their libraries with so fond an affection,” Porter writes, “and have learned to conceive of them as parts of themselves, as in a sense visible and tangible embodiments of their own being.”
    • In such instances, the “L” word gets thrown around rather loosely and often prematurely.  Law-keeping, in some circles, has sadly become the litmus test for legalism.
    • But, legalism and obedience are all too often being confused with one another.
    • Yet, find a Christian who is careful to obey God in everything, and we won’t have to look far to find another Christian to call him a legalist…But we must be careful not to confuse legalism with obedience. Obedience is not legalism. Obedience is obedience. God commands us to obey his Word, and when pressed with those commands we must not cry foul — “legalism!”  No, disobedience is sin, and obedience is not legalism.
    • Of course, I consider spiritual formation to be a good thing — self-evidently so, just like rugby union, fine cognac and all and every satirical parody written by Craig Brown.   But I refuse to accept any necessary dichotomy between book learning and spirituality.  As Warfield did, so I too believe that study can and should be done with passionate spiritual devotion.  Like Luther, I repudiate the medieval notion of a hierarchy of spiritual and unspiritual callings, even when refracted through the lens of Protestant evangelicalism.  And I see the first and most important way I help ‘spiritually form’ my students to be telling them that they need to study hard and be passionately committed to their local churches and, if they have them, to their wives and children.  And I also agree with Jesus: when confronted by the Pharisees, his answer to their defective piety was often not  to tell them to attend more fellowship meetings but an urgent encouragement to them to study books not less but more: ‘Have you not read….?’

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Posted by on 11/08/2012 in Current Issues


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