Sunday, October 26, 2008

"By study and meditation we improve the hints that we have acquired by observation, conversation, and reading; we take more time in thinking, and by the labor of the mind we penetrate deeper into the themes of knowledge, and carry our thoughts sometimes much farther on many subjects than we ever met with either in the books of the dead or discourses of the living. It is our own reasoning that draws out one truth from another, and forms a whole scheme of science from a few hints which we borrowed elsewhere." Isaac Watts.

I think these principles apply to the Holy Scriptures as well. There we have these helps and the Spirit of God and his leading as well. Obvious care must be taken with Holy things, and there is safety with a multitude of counselors, but on some subjects we face a resistance to inquiry which will either end the quest or force one on with fewer human helps.

Photo by Mike Arrizabalaga


Anonymous said...

I could not agree more. I have found that we (modern Christians) with all the different distractions available to spend our time, rarely spend it in the Word of God. It is hard to ponder and meditate on something that you rarely read. For those who do read the Word, we often read it for a set amount of time and then turn on the TV "Okay-I did my duty, got that over with, now for a little relaxation--Honey, have you seen the remote?".

One must read the Word of God; prayerfully ponder it, meditate upon it; and, talk about it with others who also have a basic knowledge of it--opinions without knowledge are dangerous, and knowledge without love can be even more so.

Isaac Watts also said, "Academical disputation gives vigor and briskness to the mind thus exercised, and relieves the languor of private study and meditation."

Of course, he was not discounting the benefits of private study and meditation, just expressing how we must do both. I know I am pressed more into prayer, study and meditation after a little vigourous and brisk disputation. :-)

Great Post, Fred.

FCB said...

Hi Anon,
Good points, and I agree with them as well. However, it takes care that we keep pride out of our vigor. That can be more important than winning a dispute, and I know you will agree.
Ideally, disputes cause us to focus on a truth and give us a hunger to know more, study more and apply more. A match of wits will accomplish none of those.

I doubt seeking the mind of God in an issue will bring the 'languor' that academic studies have attached to them. But certainly if we approach God out of duty and not thirst, little will happen.
Good comments,

Anonymous said...

Yes - Agreed. As with everything, as soon as our motivation has shifted from using these means to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and to edify others, to a contest to be won or an opponent to be slain we will reap nothing but wood, hay, and stubble and do harm to the name of Christ.

Again - I enjoy your posts and comments

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred :)

It is true that the application of the mind, reasoning, thinking and analysis which provides strong foundation for our faith.

Thanks for the great post!

Best wishes :)