About two years back I read a quote by C. S. Lewis that really struck me. And since it is something very close to what I will be writing on here I thought I would show it below:
“I have found that nothing is more dangerous to one’s own faith than the work of an apologist. No doctrine of that Faith seems to me so spectral, so unreal as one that I have just successfully defended in a public debate. For a moment, you see, it has seemed to rest on oneself: as a result, when you go away from that debate, it seems no stronger than that weak pillar. That is why we apologists take our lives in our hands and can be saved only by falling back continually from the web of our own arguments, as from our intellectual counters, into the Reality– from Christian apologetics into Christ Himself.”
C. S. Lewis, The Joyful Christian
He was obviously speaking of Apologetics and when I first read the quote that was exactly what I was going thru. I was reading apologetics constantly and every thought was, “How can I defend the faith against these objections?” It was not really just a hobby for I was applying it on a weekly level to ministry on the streets. But our focus so easily gets off of Christ and on His work.
God showed me my error and there was repentance but as I think all Christians go thru to more or less extent it has not ceased to be a constant struggle to keep my eyes on the King and not focus them on His work. The difference now is that I am no longer immersed in apologetics but the case could be made that I am immersed in theology. I constantly am thinking about things like the hypostatic union of Christ, in what sense we are predestined, the relation of the father to the son in the Godhead and a host of other things. Though some would see all of these as a waste of time I think not. Deep study of God and His word are commanded. The error though that they rightly point out is how so many have become old and dry in the faith and truth be told are cold to the God they claim to be studying.
I look around at the field of theologians and I see so many who have fallen prey to pride. They became full of themselves instead of filling themselves with the God of the book they “know so well”. The fire of walking with the King is absent and all that is left is a dead orthodoxy. This is worse than if they had stayed ‘simple’ in their understanding of God and yet radically in love with Him.
Not saying that all are this way. In fact in recent years we have seen a number spring up who are very deep in their thinking and also very deep with their God. And this is what I am advocating.
I am not saying the field of theologial study should be abandoned. I am however saying for theology the same as Lewis above was saying for apologetics. Of first priority always is a deep walk with God. If we are off here we are off everywhere and not only that but we have ceased to be theologians at all and are merely one more self-centered man adding to the disconcordant noise flowing from all over “Christendom”. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness… Then and only then can these things be added unto you.
So in summary for those of us who enjoy to study God’s word and think about it deeply. Let us not in so doing lose focus on Him and His glory. Let us ever Keep our eyes on the King. It is only thru a real walk with Him will our hearts be illumined by the spirit to the truths found in that book.
So study, study, study. But first pray, pray and pray some more. Worship. Spend time with Him. He will be our light.