Thursday, May 22, 2008

Head Knowlege?

For most of my Christian life I have heard from pulpits that “people miss heaven by 18 inches. That’s the difference between the head and the heart.” The idea is that people fail to become Christians because they have only “head knowledge, but not heart knowledge.” Now, I think I know what people mean by this, but I’m not sure that the concept is accurate. If the idea implies a failure to come to the point of submission to Christ and remain an informed pagan, then I agree. But if the intent is to downgrade propositional truth in favor of subjective impression, then that is a serious problem.

Granted, we are not to be merely repositories of theological knowledge. A purely academic knowledge of Biblical themes and facts that has no bearing on life is not particularly advantageous. However, neither is the opposite extreme of subjective impressions with no basis in fact.

A seminary professor of mine described faith as “sufficient reason to believe.” Faith is founded on truth, not fancy or fiction. There must be content to faith. It is not enough to only believe – Oprah claims to believe; she is purposely ambiguous about what she believes.

Faith must be fixed upon the facts and truths of Scripture, namely the propositional truths about the Person and work of Jesus Christ. These truths are intended to influence and form our actions.

If this is true, then it is the responsibility of the preacher to heed Paul’s words to Timothy to “Preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (2 Tim. 4:2). Sinners are not won to Christ and believers are not edified by the rejection of propositional truth – regardless what the leaders of the emergent church claim.

Albert Mohler speaks to this:


Churches must recover the centrality and urgency of biblical teaching and preaching, and refuse to sideline the teaching ministry of the preacher. Pastors and churches too busy--or too distracted--to make biblical knowledge a central aim of ministry will produce believers who simply do not know enough to be faithful disciples.

1 comment:

jerry said...

Very nice!! Our lunch together must have inspired you!!

Thanks for being an inspiration to me in these things.