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Passion preserves you from intellectualism and legalism

July 27, 2006

I just listened to a great sermon from Piper that he gave in 2004 at Marc Driscoll’s church in Seattle.  I wish I had a graphic interface so that I could draw a diagram of what he said, but perhaps you can draw the lines in your head while I describe it. 

The essence of true religion is a passionate joy and deep satisfaction in the glory of God in Christ.  This will lead to…

right thinking (doctrinal truth)  and right living (practical holiness)

But where passionate joy and deep satisfation in the glory of God in Christ is missing, doctrinal truth becomes intellectualism and practical holiness become legalism.

These monsters then spawn their counter monsters.  People repulsed by intellectualism become atheological de-bunkers of doctrine.  People repulsed by legalism become loose living grace abusers.

We are preserved from being devoured by this host of monsters by grace that empowers us to pursue passionate joy and deep satisfaction in the glory of God in Christ.  This enlivens our doctrine and makes our holiness beautiful and flowering, not ugly and plastic.  

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Bethlen Gabor permalink
    July 29, 2006 8:35 pm

    Without panning through any Scripture here (I’ve got to go unpack more in a minute), I observe that the Scriptures make little room for the hard distinction found in Western thought between our minds and our hearts. Whether in Romans 1, Psalm 2 or 119, or in a number of other passages, the Bible ties together where our heart is and what our head thinks. Bottom line: If you don’t truly love Jesus Christ enough to pursue Him and His Glory, your doctrine will be flawed, and your obedience a lifeless thing.

  2. July 29, 2006 8:41 pm

    Welcome Capt. Tom, glad you’re posting. Can we hear a story behind “Bethlen Gabor”? Sounds a little like you always wanted to be a lumberjack.

  3. Bethlen Gabor permalink
    July 30, 2006 12:46 pm

    I DID always want to be a lumberjack. But for my screen name I’ll settle on a swarthy Tartar dictator instead. Bethlen Gabor, also known as Gabriel Bethlen, was the king of Transylvania during part of the 30 Years War. He was militarily pretty savvy, maybe the third most competent general of his day, politically ruthless, and kept his rebellion-prone subjects in line by alternating wars against the Papist Hapsburgs and the Mohammedan Turks. He was also a devout Calvinist, and came to the defense many times of Bohemian and German Reformed Christians (though he was late once when it was really important). Within his smallish kingdom, he maintained a policy of religious tolerance almost unthinkable for the time, and supported theologians at home and foreign missionaries among the Muslim people. Neat fella’, though not without his sins.

    In other news, we visited the first of several PCA churches in the area, which was pretty good. Much of the feel of CEFC to it.

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