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Truly Reformed

July 15, 2008

Amen to this blogpost by Ray Ortlund.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. egana permalink
    July 18, 2008 8:17 am

    We’re pretty bad off as a species when we take something so good as these tasty doctrines and twist them to our own evil purposes.

    Praise the Lord that he loved us and had sweet mercy on us in our yuckiness, saved us, and now lavishes his glory and favor on us in Christ, and is even conforming us into HIS image, so that we can live in a new way that is not so freaky and stupid. Our lives in this world are better and better, and we are an increasing blessing to our neighbors and communities, instead of a disgrace to his name. I am so glad it is HIS power at work in us, and not we ourselves depending merely on our own efforts.

    I know that last pat always sounds like a cop-out to many unbelievers I know. “I don’t have any responsibility to try harder, because it is God at work in me, so I’ll justsip my pina colada and wait around here at the pool until His work is finished. Am I getting tan lines?” But that is NOT what I mean.

    It’s just so freeing and hope-giving to know that it is the LORD oF THE UNIVERSE whose power and wisdom are crafting me and giving me the strength to pursue love and good deeds and harmony with my neighbors. Guilt, worldly fame, public duty, the pursuit of fun, or even true altruism fail to motivate becasue the do not actually CAUSE me to desire what is good, nor do they EMPOWER me to do it.

    But the lord does both in us. He changes us and makes us WANT what is good. And he gives us what we need (strength, courage, perseverance, wisdom, trust in His guidance and blessing of the outcome, etc.) to actually DO it. So we can and will try harder, just not they way the world wants or expects, because we are hoping in the Lord and trusting him to do what he promises.

    So (I know this is long) I think we who love the Lord Jesus and find the doctrines of the Reformation sweet to the taste should humble ourselves and love our brothers and sisters in Christ. But we will fail if we try to do it from worldly motivations and in our own strength.

  2. egana permalink
    July 18, 2008 8:49 am

    Another thought: not as spiritually minded…

    IT seems to me that this issue of intellectual / doctrinal pride runs parallel with some MBTI type issues. Could it be that the Reformed folks are mostly T’s, whose natural, fleshly inclination is to disdain illogical thinking in others? So when the F’s come along, with their feel good gospel that goes as deep as “Jesus loves me” and then is satisfied and needs no further intellectual depth , it drives the T’s nuts?

    I think the F finds his “depth needs” met in the relational, not the intellectual realm.

    This is NOT to say that T’s find no value in the relational aspects of life, nor that F’s cannot pursue intellectual interests. It is the misunderstanding each group often has for the other that I am submitting here as a possible insight into some of the underlying issues Ortland (see the link above to read his original blog post) addresses in this post.

    Also, I think there are often feelings of hurt and hostility between these two groups.

    T’s are often unjustly accused of being cold and unloving, insensitive and relationally challenged. It is not surprising then, that they would defend themselves with even more “intellectual rigor” and Reformed Theology may just fit the bill.

    F’s are often unjustly accused of being silly, stupid, illogical and shallow. So it is not surprising that they might defend themselves with a warm blanket of happy feelings and meaningful relationships, and a “happy clappy” church fellowship would just fit the bill.

    For my part, I am an F, and I am Reformed. I am learning the joys that true Theology (the study of God) can bring to my heart and mind. But I do it NOT because it is true, but because the truth of it makes me more and more happy in the Lord, opens me up to enjoy more of his presence and his glory, makes my mind fertile soil for the growing wisdom and insight there, and expands my ability to love and serve and enjoy other people.

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