Monday, January 28, 2013

Intellectual assent

Many in the eighteenth century viewed Christianity as an intellectual system, centred on systematic theology; belief was then an intellectual quality involving the comprehension and application of propositional truth. This was certainly congenial to the developing Enlightenment approach to the study of religion and was popular with many Calvinists. Wesley believed that Calvinism erred by focusing on God’s sovereignty, with the consequent emphasis on rules, regulations and perfect compliance. While Wesley was influenced by these developments, he clearly rejected their main thrust in order to embrace Christianity as a personal encounter with God, a relationship based on trust, centred in the heart, and with an affinity for personal knowledge rather than abstract truth.—Wesley as a Pastoral Theologian, page 211

<idle musing>
Amen and amen! I am not against intellectual knowledge—how could I be with all the years of schooling?—but without the Spirit of God quickening that knowledge, it is worthless ("knowledge puffs up while love builds up").
</idle musing>

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