Sunday, October 10, 2010

Key Insights from THINK

The media for the latest Desiring God Conference has been posted. The theme was "THINK". As far as I am concerned, the talks by Francis Chan and John Piper were most impacting.

The Conference had many goals. One is to help people to see that the goal of thinking is treasure Christ. Thinking about God is not equivalent to loving God. Thinking has relative importance, not absolute importance. Thinking is a means to treasuring. Yet, God is not glorified by our ignorance of Him. Second, these reflections should spur us to greater intentionality in our thinking, dispelling subtle or overt forms of anti-intellectualism or even anti-theologicalism. (Some of the most Bible-focused people you meet may still be "anti-theological").

Let me offer one text for your consideration, 2 Timothy 2:7, "Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything."

First is a command: Think over the truths being given to us. God is infinite; the mysteries of God will never be easily grasped. What we think most earnestly about reveals what we worship. As Piper well said, Do not romanticize the benefits of ignorance about Biblical things. How many of us are relative experts when it comes to politics, sports, current events, or our professions yet come to Scripture and in false humility give no effort and say, 'I can't understand this stuff'?

Second is a promise, "the Lord will give you understanding in everything". There seems to be a tension in the first and second halves. Which is it? Do I think hard and solve problems, OR will the Lord give revelation? Christians tend to fall on one side of the line or the other...thinking either we have to get a lot of education and read many books to get Biblical insight, or we can put aside such effort and just let God tells us directly what he wants.

Therefore, notice what links the 2 parts.... the word "for" (meaning, "because"). The reason we can labor with all diligence, joy, and hope in hard thinking is that God has given a promise to reveal truth. Our effort expresses our faith in his promises. It is not an "either-or". We cannot excuse intellectual laziness to "higher spirituality" nor can we presume that only someone with a PhD can teach us anything about the Bible.

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