I was on a social media site recently and ran across this very honest confession.
Over the past few years Ive read more theology books than most, Ive read my Bible and commentaries, Ive sought after strong churches and attended intense discipleship classes. Ive wanted to listen to the most controversial theological issues and how to argue for my position. On appearance to some, I have sound theology. The 5 solas, reformed, covenantal, well behaved.
However, I have no interest in sharing the gospel. I don’t like people. I have no joy. Its all intellectual. When i repent, i wonder if I’m self deceived. I’m going through the motions. I fear i have an empty intellectual faith. My prayer life is lacking to put it mildly. I’m angry all the time. I am envious and resentful of those with faith and joy. After all these years, I have changed the context but feel I’m further from God than before. I have wondered many times that I’m reprobate. The reason why I can’t care is my heart is still stone and it may be. I want a zeal for the lost but i have none. I believe its because I haven’t truly experienced God after all these years in books.
I’m writing and asking for prayer because I’m sick of being fake and i don’t know how to be real.
I understand this person’s plight. I was once such a person. All head, no heart. All the theological acumen in the world can’t save you. You can be the greatest biblical scholar in the world and still be utterly lost.
I’m not bashing the importance of studying theology. I think it is vital for the stability, growth, and protection of the church and individuals. We are called to love the Lord with our minds. Yes, that means using our intellect for the glory of God. (Luke 10:27) There are wonderful men and woman throughout the history of the church and living today that have served the Lord in amazing ways in the academy. I’m thinking of people like D. A. Carson, Tom Schreiner, Sinclair Ferguson and others like them that love the Lord, teach the Word responsibly, and would never compromise the Gospel. Their preaching and teaching flow from hearts that savor the glory and beauty of Christ. They just love Jesus.
What I am saying is that the relationship we have with the living Lord Jesus is vital, pulsating, vivid, heart-moving, life-changing, joy-giving, peace-experiencing, and absolutely glorious. Theology can feed this relationship, but theology without that living, experiential relationship with the Christ of glory will bring you down to the pits of hell. It’s not knowing about God that matters. The question is this: ARE YOU KNOWN BY HIM?