"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Books and the Christian -tozer|
[b]Books and the Christian[/b]
The book that informs us without inspiring us may be indispensable to the scientist, the lawyer, the physician, but mere information is not enough for the minister. If knowledge about things constituted learning, the encyclopedia would be all the library one needed for a fruitful ministry. The successful Christian, however, must know God, himself and his fellow men. Such knowledge is not gained by assembling data but by sympathetic contact, by intuition, by meditation, by silence, by inspiration, by prayer and long communion. I therefore recommend reading, not for diversion, nor for information alone, but for communion with great minds. The book that leads the soul out into the sunlight, points upward and bows out is always the best book.
The man who can teach me to teach myself will help me more in the long run than the man who spoon-feeds me and makes me dependent upon him. The teacher's best service is to make himself unnecessary. The book that serves as a ramp from which my mind can take off is the best book for me. The book that follows me into the pulpit and intrudes itself into my sermon is my enemy and an enemy to my hearers. The book that frees me to think my own inspired thoughts is my friend.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2005/7/30 12:13||Profile|
| Re: Books and the Christian -tozer|
Perhaps a word of warning would not be amiss here: It is that we beware the common habit of putting confidence in books, as such. It takes a determined effort of the mind to break free from the error of making books and teachers ends in themselves.
The worst thing a book can do for a christian is to leave him with the impression that he has recieved from it anything really good; the best it can do is to point the way to the Good he is seeking. The function of a good book is to stand like a signpost directing the reader toward the Truth and the Life. That book serves best which early makes itself unnecessary, just as a signpost serves best after it is forgotten, after the traveler has arrived safely at his desired haven. The work of a good book is to incite the reader to moral action, to turn his eyes toward God and urge him forward. Beyond that it cannot go.
| 2005/8/9 15:20|
Books like the Bible are not ends in themselves but if they are good books they reveal the Living Christ and instruct us how to pursue Christ, enjoy Christ, feed on Christ and live Christ.
Jesus said to the pharasees. "you search the scritpures because in them you believe you have eternal Life but it is they that testify of Me and you will not come to Me that you may have life.
We must acknowlege that in the Saints of all the ages who were and are indwelt by the Spirit of the Living crucified and resurrected Christ, we have a wealth of testimony, instruction, and comentary on Christ and how to live Him according to the revelation of the Bible.
We should not despise books or those who write them, But they must be recieved and judged on their own merit according to the scritpures. A Person who is one with Christ and Lives Christ and writes is one who can shephard us into the same experience of Christ. This is what Paul did. This is what all who follow the pattern of Paul who's pattern is Christ did.
Biblical truth is biblical truth and the Spirit reveals truth to us. And he uses us as His redeemed, regenerated broken believers to impart truth to others and to impart Christ into others.
What would we do without the writtings of the Saints in all the ages? Luther, Calvin, Madam Guyon, Molinos, Westley, Whitefield, Darby, Govett, Jessie Penn Lewis, Hopkins, Andrew Murray, William Law, Panton, Pember, Pink, H. C. G. Moule, Lloyd Jones, Tozer, Nee, etc.
A book which is filled with the revelation of Christ according to the scritpures is a good book.
| 2005/11/11 13:32||Profile|
| Re: books and the Bible|
While it may sound spiritual to say, "I only read the Bible" because, "all scritpure is God breathed and is profitable... that the man of God may be complete" yet in the Bible there is also the principle of the body.
IN the bible there is the full revelation of Christ and God's economy and the whole revelation of the Truth once for all delivered to the saints. But, God has chosen to use us, His redeemed, regenerated believers who go on and grow in the Divine Life to interprete, apply the scritpures, and speak Christ into others.
IN Acts, the Etheopian Eunich said to Philip in effect, "how can I understand this if someone does not explain it to me?" Phillip then went on to unfold the revelation of Christ to him which was in the passage he was reading.
Books are helpful, the testimony of all the saints are helpful and what we recieve from the Body brings in Light which we do not recieve on our own.
God has made us members of the body of Christ and we all have our function. Not all are eyes and not all our mouths. But by being strengthened by His Spirit into our inner man we are made strong to apprehend "with all the saints" the length... etc. and know the love of Christ which surpasses knowlege.
To fully apprehend Christ we need "all the saints" and we need to recieve the Light given in the body. This includes the light given throughout all the centuries which we have contained in the books written by those who knew the reality of Christ.
It is true that "we need not that anyone should teach us but we have an anointing which teaches all things and true and is no lie". But, in saying this the apostle John is teaching us and instucting us and his epistle is in fact revelation and teaching.
But ultimately it is the Spirit who is our only teacher and through the words of others (which are biblical) and expecially the Bible itself the Spirit quickens us, enlightens us and teaches us.
We need to bring all things to the scriptures to affirm and to authorize but the light recieved is through not only our personal study and time with the Lord but also through the body.
We should not despise the work of God in others nor the light they recieve and those things they have put down with pen and paper. But we should judge the outcome of a man's way of life and imitate his faith.
| 2005/11/11 14:04||Profile|