01 January 2010

Back February 1

Due to a January filled with wonderful things for which I am grateful, no blogging this month. I sign off with this remarkably clarifying and perspective-returning reminder from the gangly sinner who knew God so well three hundred years ago in a small Massachussetts town.

The future world was designed to be our settled and everlasting abode. Here it was intended that we should be fixed, and here alone is a lasting habitation, and a lasting inheritance, and enjoyments to be had. We are designed for this future world. . . .

There we shall serve God perfectly. We shall glorify him in an exalted manner, and to the utmost of the powers and capacity of our nature. Then we shall perfectly give up ourselves to God; then will our hearts be wholly a pure and holy offering to God, offered all in the flame of divine love.

In heaven alone is attainment of our highest good. God is the highest good of the reasonable creature. The enjoyment of him is our proper happiness, and is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here: better than fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, or children, or the company of any or all earthly friends. These are but shadows; but God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the fountain. These are but drops; but God is the ocean.

Praise the Lord.

--Jonathan Edwards, 'The Christian Pilgrim,' in Sermons and Discourses 1730-1733, Vol 17 in The Works of Jonathan Edwards (ed. Mark Valeri; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999), 437-38

Frame: Maxims for Theologians

In an appendix to his Doctrine of the Knowledge of God, John Frame compiles a good list of 62 "maxims for theologians," dos and don'ts that essentially summarize the entire book. A few that helped me today are:

6. Do not seek to do theology without a personal knowledge of God as your friend through Christ.

39. Do engage in biblical theology, but not in a cultic spirit.

40. Do not regard your theological system as superior in any way (materially or formally) to Scripture itself. Make sure your emotional attachments and attitudes are consistent with this resolution.

59. Do admit it when you don't know the answer.

--John Frame, The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God (P&R, 1987), 375-79