Monday, October 25, 2010

Nothing looks the same again!

"Tepid acknowledgment is not an optional response to Jonathan Edwards' perspective on motivation. His teaching must be either rejected outright or embraced as the all-transforming foundation for one's life. We cannot half-heartedly accept the truth of the need for an inner relish.

If heartfelt gladness in God is definitive of authentic Christianity, every sphere of human existence becomes increasingly colored with the 'delight to draw near to God' (Isa. 58:2) in a way never before feasible. Reading the Bible, for example, is done neither to appease some demand from God or even primarily to gather new doctrinal data, but to cultivate enjoyment of Him. Prayer is not undertaken mainly to prevent illness and ensure safe travel-legitimate and necessary as these requests are!-but to indulge the insatiable universal human impulse to worship something beyond ourselves. Attending church is not a three-hour interruption into an otherwise relaxing weekend; it is an opportunity to taste the sweetness of Christ together in the nurturing fellowship without which even the most earnest believer will sputter along and eventually languish. And what about the more mundane daily activities in which we are all engaged - driving to work in thick traffic, taking a coffee break, doing a load of laundry, devouring a good burger, changing a diaper ... These too are opportunities not for Christians to have a break from bothering with God, but to see and rejoice in Him, the God who 'satisfies your hearts with food and gladness' (Acts 14:17) ... A Christian is one who has been given a new set of glasses. Nothing looks the same again." (Ortlund, Dane. A New Inner Relish: Christian Motivation in the Thought of Jonathan Edwards. Fearn, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2008. 147-8)

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