I’ve been reading a ton of Modern/Postmodern stuff lately (read: want to shoot myself), and there really is nothing new under the sun. It seems as if the Fundamentalists, and their storehouse of facts called the Bible, are nothing more than scholastics, but instead of trying to determine how many angels can stand on the head of a pin, they are seeking to build a firm, unshakable foundation built upon the tenets of reason. The result is the same as that of the scholastics: an unhealthy preoccupation with knowledge and the justification thereof. Enter John Owen’s quote:
When men live in a holy admiration of and complacency in God, as the God of truth, as the first infinite essential Truth, in whose enjoyment alone there is fullness of all satisfactory light and knowledge; when they adore the fullness of those revelations of himself which, with infinite wisdom, he hath treasured up in the Scriptures; when they find by experience an excellency, power, and efficacy in what they have attained unto and, out of a deep sense of the smallness of their measures, of the meanness of their attainments, and how little portion it is they know of God, do live in a constant design to abide with faith and patience in continual study of the word, and inquiries into the mind of God therein, they are in the way being taught by him, and learning of his mind unto all the proper ends of its revelation.
And of the Schoolmen, or in more modern terms the purely academic theologians, Owen has this to say:
God puts not such value upon men’s accurate methods as they may imagine them to deserve, nor are they so subservient unto his ends in the revelation of himself as they are apt to fancy; yea ofttimes when, as they suppose, they have brought truths unto the strictest propriety of expression, they lose both their power and their glory. Hence is the world filled with so many lifeless, sapless, graceless, artificial declarations of divine truth in the schoolmen (scholastics) and others.
Owen wrote this at the end of the 17th century, but he could have written it yesterday with complete relevance to our situation. Let us heed his words, and even more so, let us cling to the promises in Scripture that he upholds, that we will be taught of him, guided into all truth by his Holy Spirit. Booyah.
As for the crazy Postmodern theologies out there… only God can call for light to shine out of darkness. Pray that He does!