Resolution: “to live with all my might while I do live.” “When I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can toward solving it if circumstances do not hinder.” “To study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly, and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive, myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.”
God-centered, soul-satisfying, sin-destroying vision of reality.
“One of the Most holy, humble, and heavenly minded men that the world has seen since the apostolic age.” – Ashbel Green, President of the College of New Jersey, in reference to Jonathan Edwards
“There is no Christian Mind…the Christian Mind has succumbed to the secular drift with a degree of weakness unmatched in Christian history.” – Harry Blamires (1963)
Life as treading water with 10,000 fathoms beneath us shows the desperate condition of man without God – a blood earnestness and awareness of our need for God.
C.S. Lewis – read books outside our own century, old boks, we need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes and blindness of our own period. “None of us can fully escape this blindness…the only palliative is to keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can be done only through reading old books.” – C.S. Lewis
Mortimer Adler – read difficult books that make demands on us – for these are the only ones that will enlarge our grasp of truth and make us wiser. “Raking is easy, but all you get is leaves. Digging is hard, but you might find diamonds.” God’s gift of understanding is through thinking. All good reading involves asking questions and thinking. “Such mental exercise of reading great books may lengthen your life and television may be deadly.” – How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler, p. 345-346
“Corporate worship: the collective experience of heartfelt satisfaction in the glory of God, or a trembling that we do not have it and a great longing for it.”
P. 53 – A heart that is so wholly set on Christ is attracted to other hearts in the same delightful pursuit.
Jonathan Edwards – Latin at the age of six; Yale at the age of 12.
Study theology – not by commentaries, but chiefly by the Bible.
Give of self consistently to study the very words of God.
Discipline in extreme – in eating – to the goal of increased labor in study.
Exercise for physical, use also to meditate on the God of nature.
Read: Treatise Concerning Religious Affections, Edwards; Life of Brainerd, Edwards; Virtues, Edwards; Freedom of the Will, Edwards; Essay on the Trinity, Edwards.
Philosophized freely but confused contemporaries because they loved God more than philosophy.
Study with a pen. Capture thoughts. Ask questions. What questions am I wrestling with and seeking out in my studies?
“A true sense of the glory of God…” (p. 73)
“The more you have a rational knowledge of divine things, the more opportunity there will be, when the Spirit shall be breathed into your heart, to see the excellency of those things, and taste the sweetness of them.”
God is glorified most in knowing and obeying – like Genesis, “worship and obey?”
“The great end of all study is a heart for God and a life of holiness.”
A mind in love with God.
Doctrine once defined Christianity – we’ve lost that.
You can’t love your own happiness too much.
C.S. Lewis quote (p.81) “We are half-hearted creatures…”
“Sin is the suicidal abandonment of joy.”
“Trying to quench our unquenchable soul thirst anywhere but in God.”
Even in the right direction, lukewarm, half-hearted is sin in its subtlest, possibly most pervasive form.
“Virtue is to pursue the enjoyment of God with all our might.”
So how do we pursue the enjoyment of God? What implications does that have?
Mind = understanding truth of God perfections
Love = delight in the worth and beauty of God’s perfections.
What is at stake by not both understanding and delighting? The loss of God.
Choose one great theologian and apply throughout life to understand and master thought – become his “peer” over time.
Description of a person with gracious affections: P. 94
“The really pressing issue in culture transformation is culture penetration>”
Joy is the exulting of the heart in God’s glory. It is probable that what God has in view is an increasing communication of himself…increasing knowledge of God, love to Him, and joy in Him. Our holiness is an infusion of His own beauty.
God’s Passion for His Glory: The Vision of Jonathan Edwards, by John Piper