Making your heart sing – with a pipe and a pencil.
Here at trinity we think the gospel is good news for all people. It is simple enough for a child to understand and trust. Yet rich enough to dazzle the cleverest professor. We regularly have Sunday evening training events, at the moment we are doing a bit of historical theology (looking into some people who made a big impact in Christianity).
As we started on Sunday we considered 3 reasons why it is worth listening to these dead saints:
Once we know the smell of heresy it is easy to sniff it out quickly.
We recently had a bad smell lingering in our kitchen, I checked the bin – but it wasn’t that. Then I started emptying out the kitchen cupboards and cleaning them, but the smell wasn’t coming from there either. Eventually I realised one of the potatoes on our shelves had gone very bad. It had turned to water and stank.
Now I have smelt rotting potatoes I will never forget the smell. If I ever get a whiff of that smell, I will not have to search the kitchen, I will go straight for the potatoes. In the same way if we invest time into understanding heresy it will be much easier to spot it and correct it.
Arguments from the past (or future) can expose our blind spots.
Sometimes we invest too much time into the wrong things. If we look back into history we can be corrected in all sorts of ways. Our prejudices are exposed and it becomes apparent how much we are affected by the prevailing culture.
Digging deep can lead to joy
I will let CS Lewis make this point:
For my own part I tend to find the doctrinal books often more helpful in devotion than the devotional books, and I rather suspect that the same experience may await many others. I believe that many who find that “nothing happens” when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.
CS Lewis preface to On The Incarnation by Athanasius