Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Ripped-Off Post (but a good one)

OK, so I completely ripped this entry off of Justin Taylor's "Between Two Worlds." But I found it so challenging and encouraging, I wanted to pass it on to those of you who don't read Justin's blog (but should!).

J. I. Packer, writing about the idea of "communion with God," then and now:

". . . whereas to the Puritans communion with God was a great thing, to evangelicals today it is a comparatively small thing. The Puritans were concerned about communion with God in a way that we are not. The measure of our unconcern is the little that we say about it. When Christians meet, they talk to each other about their Christian work and Christian interests, their Christian acquaintances, the state of the churches, and the problems of theology—but rarely of their daily experience of God. Modern Christian books and magazines contain much about Christian doctrine, Christian standards, problems of Christian conduct, techniques of Christian service—but little about the inner realities of fellowship with God. Our sermons contain much sound doctrine—but little relating to the converse between the soul and the Saviour. We do not spend much time, alone or together, in dwelling on the wonder of the fact that God and sinners have communion at all; no, we just take that for granted, and give our minds to other matters. Thus we make it plain that communion with God is a small thing to us. But how different were the Puritans! The whole aim of their ‘practical and experimental’ preaching and writing was to explore the reaches of the doctrine and practice of man’s communion with God."

Packer, A Quest for Godliness, p. 215

This goes along with what I've been thinking about, concerning idolatry of the function and fruits of Christianity. The fact that we have been given a direct line to God is remarkable, and yet we become fixated on "Christian conduct" and "techniques of Christian service." I needed to be reminded of a basic truth — that today I am invited to commune with the God of the Universe. That is a great thing!


At 5:04 PM, Blogger Ashleigh said...

Great post -- thanks for "ripping" it off to share it with us.

I think the church I went to back in Virginia was very good about reminding us in every sermon, every service, and every get together of how amazing it is that because of the cross we can have fellowship with God. That lowly sinners such as us are given the privilege to come into the presence of a Holy God. Yet, even so, I find that I take this for granted and don't think about it as much as I should. Thanks for the reminder to sit back, be continually amazed, and to take more time to commune with the Lord.


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