Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What Makes a Good Theologian

"Neither the accumulated wisdom of all the earth and the skies, nor languages, the Church Fathers, and daily reading of the Holy Scripture, nor immense learning and eloquence make a good theologian or pastor if the cross is not added.  Through the cross God purifies, cleanses, strengthens, and perfects the light of His true knowledge of true faith in Christ, of true understanding of the divine promises, proper prayer, hope, humility, and all the virtues which He has first planted in the heart through the Word.  Those are secure spirits rather than real Christians who live each day happily and joyfully, thinking that when they read the lament of an Ezekiel, the prayer of a Jonah, and other Psalms, they are hearing only empty words and vain dreams; therefore they can neither understand these descriptions of a faith struggling under the heaviest of trials nor can they speak of them to others. Accordingly we should equip ourselves for the Cross, which is just as necessary for those who wish to serve the Church as air and food are for the maintenance of the body...How can a person be able to understand the Gospel or teach it to others if he himself has not experienced the power of the Gospel in the midst of sorrows and trials?"
--David Chytraeus (1531-1600), " A Meditation on the Cross"

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