13 January 2009

True Spiritual Power

True spiritual power of the Christian order is a kind of possessedness. It arises in and flows through a life hid with Christ in God. Its source is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. . . . True spiritual power is the child of two parents: the truth as it is revealed in Jesus and our own experience resulting upon our acceptance of Him and His truth. The objective factor is that the whole set of facts and truths, of historic events, and of interpretation of them, which is held by the church and set forth in the Bible. The subjective factor is what happens in the crucible of your life and mine. . . . We then have a two-edged witness.

We witness to the truth as it is in Jesus, and we witness to the Christian experience as this transforms our own lives. If you take only the truth, and leave out the experience, you will probably become dogmatic and hard. If you take only the experience and leave out the truth, you will probably become woolly and amorphous and sentimental. But when you take both, and both are watered by the streams of grace, you have authentic spiritual power. . . .

The truth without power is a factory for hypocrites.

--Sam Shoemaker, Extraordinary Living for Ordinary People (Zondervan, 1967), 122-23, 125

Good words on the need for a strawberry-rhubarb theology!

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