Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday's Resolution {No Doctrinal Pride}

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We are picking apart Jonathan Edward's 70 Resolutions, one week and one resolution at a time. Don't forget to start where he did- "Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God's help, I do humbly entreat Him by His grace to enable me to keep these Resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to His will, for Christ's sake."

12. Resolved, if I take delight in it as a gratification of pride, or vanity, or on any such account, immediately to throw it by. 

My paraphrase:

12. Resolved, if I get a kick out of it because it fills me with pride, or inflates my ego, to instantly be done with it.

Twelve weeks into our coverage of Jonathan Edward's Resolutions, and I am a bit stumped. I believe that the "it" Mr. Edwards refers to in this 12th Resolution can be traced back to the 11th Resolution, which we covered last week: "Resolved, when I think of any theorem in divinity to be solved, immediately to do what I can towards solving it, if circumstances don't hinder."


If that is indeed the case, then I believe this Resolution meant that although Jonathan Edwards wanted to be a thoughtful student of the Word, he never wanted his diligence in studying and understanding Scripture to become a source of pride.


If ever he found himself becoming proud or self-satisfied with his cleverness in solving theological conundrums, Mr. Edwards was resolved to instantly lay such pride and vanity aside.


It is a good lesson, and one we all need in this present day and age of Church history. Oftentimes we allow our opinions on theology to become a source of pride. We look down our nose at others who believe differently, even regarding them as "lesser" Christians.


While not everyone can be right about something, this side of eternity we are all going to have theological flaws, chinks in the armor of our sin-tainted understanding. We would do well to cling to the clearest truths of Scripture, love one another, and be gracious and sweet proponents of our cherished view points.


I love what John Piper said about this in his biography of Athanasius: "If something is worth fighting for, it is worth rejoicing over. And the joy is essential in the battle, for nothing is worth fighting for that will not increase our joy in God."

If we believe so deeply in a doctrine that we need to fight for it, we ought to be joyful about it! Not hardened, grumpy, prickly, proud, or cynical. 

I think this is what Jonathan Edwards' 12th Resolution is about. Unfortunately, I am not 100% positive.

Do you have any idea about what he meant? Please do enlighten me!

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