Thursday, November 10, 2005

Preaching to Rational Creatures: A Lesson from the Puritans

Thanks to Peter Bogert at Stronger Church for posting this quote from Joel Beeke's chapter in the book Whatever Happened to the Reformation?. I thought readers of this blog would appreciate it as well.

First, Puritan preaching addressed the mind with clarity. It addressed man as a rational creature. The Puritans loved and worshiped God with their minds. They viewed the mind as the palace of faith. They refused to set mind and heart against each other, but taught that knowledge was the soil in which the Spirit planted the seed of regeneration. Puritans thus preached that we need to think in order to be holy. They challenged the idea that holiness is only a matter of emotions.
The Puritans preached that a flabby mind is no badge of honor. They understood that a mindless Christianity will foster a spineless Christianity. An anti-intellectual gospel will spawn an irrelevant gospel that does not get beyond "felt needs." That's what is happening in our churches today. We've lost our Christian mind, and for the most part we do not see the necessity of recovering it. We do not understand that where there is little difference between the Christian and non-Christian in what we think and believe, there will soon be little difference in how we live (245-246).
If that wasn't enough to make me want to read the book, I see that David Powlison contributed a chapter called "A Flourishing of Fresh Wisdoms: The Call of the Hour in the Ministry of the Word."

1 comment:

Broken Messenger said...

They refused to set mind and heart against each other, but taught that knowledge was the soil in which the Spirit planted the seed of regeneration. Puritans thus preached that we need to think in order to be holy. They challenged the idea that holiness is only a matter of emotions.

This is a brilliant way to look at the Parable of the Sower and regeneration in general. Thank you for providing this excerpt Keith, very encouraging.

Brad