Sorry this blog post is a little later in the week than it's supposed to be; I truly apologize! But the reason it's so late actually ties in well to what we talked about Sunday, regarding pursuing God's truth and the study/meditation on Scripture. See, I'm honored to be currently working through the process of being ordained as a pastor, and one of the requirements for the process is to develop a "personal doctrinal statement" covering what I believe about every area of Christian faith, life, and theology... and that's no small task!
So after preaching Sunday, followed by the 20's+ Lunch and a college leaders' meeting, I packed up and headed out to hide myself away with a Bible, books, some good music, and my laptop, devoting the last few days to writing out my views on God, the Bible, salvation, the church, end times, and so forth. After 22 typed pages and three 12-hour days of too much caffeine, no phone calls (except for my wonderful Jess who's in CA!), very few emails, and not much sleep, I'm just about ready to wrap it up.
I bored you with that story (thanks for reading!) for only one purpose: you see, in developing my doctrinal statement, in covering all those topics, in hitting on as many points within each "area" of theology as I can, and especially in substantiating my beliefs as true, I only had one authority to which to turn. I couldn't rely on my own intelligence, because first, God's truth exceeds what I can comprehend and second, let's be honest, there's not much there worth relying on! I couldn't rely on my own emotions or logic because they're faulty and lead me to my perceived truth, which likely isn't truth at all. I couldn't rely on... (fill in the blank - anything within myself!).
Instead, I'm only able to base my theology on what God reveals to us in Scripture. Because if I'm developing a theology of God, I can't start anywhere but with himself and his word, in which he has spoken his truth - the truth! So for literally 36+ hours this week, I have been flipping pages in my Bible, trying to remember "where that verse comes from," seeing how "this verse connects with that one," dwelling on different words and concepts, questioning the order of terms and phrases, and in every sense of the word, studying and meditating on Scripture.
And let me be, just for this moment, an affirmation to you: there's stuff in there that is deep; there's stuff that's frustrating; there's stuff that's confusing. But even just in these last few days my view of God has become wider; my knowledge of him has become deeper; and my awe and reverence of him, because of the many-faceted sovereign goodness he has revealed, has become far richer. I think I'm figuring out a glimpse of what it means to "love the Lord your God with all your mind..." What would it look like if we all spent a little time in this great pursuit?
It's been a long few days. But let me assure you and encourage you, it's totally worth it!