Practical or Professional

I’m going to be out of town for the next week without any opportunity to post, but I hope to follow-up with a four-part discussion on Romans 12:1-2.  In the meantime, Mueller will be sure to keep you company.  Since my time is limited, I thought I would post a quote from John Owen that God used to convict my heart.  I hope that you will find it equally stimulating.

Confessional and Functional Theology:

One of the major problems that I see in the Evangelical church today, and even in my own life at times, is a chasm between confessional and functional theology.  What I mean is simply this, what we say we believe does not always dictate what we actually do.  Our profession does not match our practice, even though it ought to guide it.  This is true not only of personal habits, but of ministry methods as well.  Instead, our behavior often evidences pragmatism (“whatever works best”) in the place of living out genuine biblical convictions in the church and in our personal lives.  The answer, according to Owen, is intimate communion with God as the doctrines of the gospel penetrate our minds and grab hold of our hearts.  Then, the overflow of our lives will be careful obedience to and delight in the person and truths of God.

Owen

John Owen: “When the heart is cast indeed into the mold of the doctrine that the mind embraces;… when not only the sense of the words is in our heads, but the sense of these things abides in our hearts; when we have communion with God in the doctrine we  contend for,–then we shall be garrisoned by the grace of God, against all the assaults of men… Let us, then, not think that we are anything the better for our conviction of the truths of the great doctrines of the gospel… unless we find the power of the truths abiding in our own hearts and have a continual experience of their necessity and excellency in our standing before God and our communion with him.”

Have you considered in what ways do your profession and practice fail to line up?  Is your faith merely confessional or is it also functional?  These are painful, but necessary questions.

Blessings in Christ, Gabe

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