Friday, July 30, 2010

Much learning doth make thee Mad!

 J. I. Packer in his book Knowing God, lays out the reasons why we should examine our motives in studying theology.

Bad motives can be dangerous.

 We need to ask ourselves: What is my ultimate aim and object in occupying my mind with these things? What do I intend to do with my knowledge about God, once I have it?
  For the fact that we have to face is this: If we pursue theological knowledge for its own sake, it is bound to go bad on us. It will make us proud and conceited. The very greatness of the subject matter will intoxicate us, and we shall come to think of ourselves as a cut above other Christians because of our interest in it; and we shall look down on those whose theological ideas seem to us crude and inadequate and dismiss them as very poor specimens.
Good motives
Our aim in studying the Godhead must be to know God himself better. Our concern must be to enlarge our acquaintance, not simply with the doctrine of God's attributes, but with the living God whose attributes they are. As he is the subject of our study, and our helper in it, so he must himself be the end of it. We must seek, in studying God, to be led to God. It was for this purpose that revelation was given, and it is to this use that we must put it.

Read my review of Knowing God here.

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