Saturday, October 16, 2010

An Interest In Obeying

In his excellent book on Jonathan Edwards' ideas about Christian motivation, Dane Ortlund discusses the legitimacy of being motivated by the end result of obedience. However, he also cites Edwards' position that this is not a stand alone type of motivation.
This is a key theme in Edwards to which we will return. Edwards has said that it is perfectly legitimate - because it is for perfectly biblical - to allow oneself (and even to seek) to be motivated because of one's vested interest inextricably linked to the obedience commanded. Our existence will be a happier one if we obey. At the same time, and very importantly, Edwards says this cannot stand alone; these kinds of reasons to obey 'be not the only thing intended'. As we will continue to see, Edwards believes that on the subject of Christian motivation the gain experienced in obedience is incomplete apart from something more, something that resides not essentially in the results of the commands but in the one who commands; there is a motivation that comes simply by virtue of the worthiness of the one calling for the obedience. The reality of God and the weight of His glory beckon a certain response, quite independent of the truth that there is also good incentive for doing so. (Ortlund, Dane. A New Inner Relish: Christian Motivation in the Thought of Jonathan Edwards. Fearn, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2008. Print.50-51)
Of interest, here is Dane's bio from his blog:
I live with my wonderful wife and two boys in Wheaton, Illinois, where I serve as Senior Editor in the Bible division at Crossway Books. This site exists (1) to encourage gospel-rootedness and (2) to remind those of us in theological training and church leadership that our doctrinal knowledge of God is meant to fuel, not outgrow, our doxological knowledge of him. I call my brothers to join me in living (2 Cor 5:15) to delight in (Ps 37:4) and display (1 Tim 1:15) the glory (Rom 15:8-9) of the grace (Eph 1:6) of God in Christ (Col 1:15-20).

No comments:

Post a Comment