This morning I heard someone talking about St. Jerome, who touched on the ideas of truth and love.
He said that love without truth is mere sentiment, and that truth without love is stark.
This got me going down a whole line of thought, because it directly reflects where our society is today.
We view love as mere feeling, coupled with an anything-goes and a quit-when-it-stops-feeling-good mentality. Romantic love is fleeting and then ditched, and all other forms of love are really about niceness.
Playing nice has replaced loving.
Love has been stripped of its teeth.
At the other end, we have the concept of truth stripped of love (which is actually a logical fallacy; truth IS love). Without love, truth cannot exist, and we are left holding a handful of facts with no glue to hold them together.
So here we sit in the oppressive darkness of a truthless love and a loveless truth. And we call that freedom and "Enlightenment."
How do we find our way out?
"If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it." Proverbs 9:12
Receiving wisdom cannot fail to help, nor can it be taken away, because wisdom enters the heart (Proverbs 2:10). The key is to stay open, eager, teachable.
Though a scoffer abuses one who tries to help him (Proverbs 9:7), ultimately, he alone suffers for it. What is a "scoffer"? A scoffer is a person whose defiant tongue reveals a heart so self-assured (or self-pitying) that it rejects instruction. This fault-finding attitude may begin as a choice, but it hardens into character.
Ironically, the wise love to learn (Proverbs 1:5; 9:9). Instruction feels to them like love. But the unwise know so much already, instruction feels to them like an insult.
The gospel is Christ himself calling us all into "newness of life" (Romans 6:4) by being "transformed by the renewal of your mind" (Romans 12:2). The "new" is the gospel adventure into personal change. It cannot fail to help. It cannot be taken away.
Thanks for pointing me to Provers Ike! I love the way the book portrays wisdom as a woman, given that women are so centrally concerned with love. In chapter 9 she calls the simple in to eat at her table, and have long life.
Good stuff for me to ponder...
God did not give us a comic book. But precisely because the Bible is so challenging, it's satisfying. God treats us like adults.
There's something about our culture that leaves us "men" feeling deeply trivialized: "My capabilities are video games, football and goofing off, I will never change, and I see no reason to change." Then along comes the gospel and tells us that we matter to God. Along comes theological grandeur that lifts our minds into lofty things. Along comes the cause of Christ that gets us working in ways that will still matter a bazillion years from now.
At the center of this revolution is the Bible. It gets us reading and thinking and studying and discussing and going deeper than we've ever gone before, deeper than we've ever dreamed of going.
Thank God for the Bible. Difficult, but not impossible.
Superb and, as usual, in a few words. Please pray for me. I am at a writing standstill.
Thanks for the kind words Dr. Craven. I will indeed pray for inspiration and revelation for you, partially out of a selfish desire to read more.
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