"And yet how common is it among mankind, that their affections are much more exercised and engaged in other matters than in religion! In things which concern men’s worldly interests, their outward delights, their honour and reputation, and their natural relations, they have their desires eager, their appetites vehement, their love warm and affectionate, their zeal ardent; in these things their hearts are tender and sensible, easily moved, deeply impressed, much concerned, very sensibly affected, and greatly engaged; much depressed with grief at losses, and highly raised with joy at worldly successes and prosperity. But how insensible and unmoved are most men about the great things of another world. "
(Page 51-52; The Religious Affections; The Banner of Truth Trust, 2004.)
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Jonathan Edwards is on to something
Still in the infant stages of working my way through Jonathan Edward’s The Religious Affections, (click here for entry #1) I’m discovering matters of high relevance both to my role as pastor and as a simple follower of Christ. In 1746 Edwards was exploring a vexing issue of pressing importance for the church today—the tendency (which I find in my own heart) to have more passion, focus and energy directed toward making our way in this world than investment in matters concerning the Kingdom of Heaven. Here’s how Edwards put it:
I’m only to page 53, but this line of thinking has already made the book worthwhile to have worked through. I’m hoping Edwards goes on to propose some remedy for this state of affairs. In the meantime, I’m finding it valuable to simply meditate on this question: Why are most of us less interested and excited about what Christ has done (and is doing) for us than we are concerning the things of this world, which at best, provide meaning and satisfaction for but a season?