A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Monday, May 25, 2015

Better than the Prophets?

What will you say to your Master on why you didn't do your "ministry" according to Scripture? That
you knew better than the prophets? That those who tried were unpopular and failed often? That you
couldn't make a living at it? That people laughed at those who tried to be biblical? that none of your
friends were doing it?

47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?

48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?

I do not boast it in, but do affirm, that I promised the Lord many years ago that I would never preach
anything for the purpose of being a success or popular. I would seek to preach the truth plainly as I
understood it and let the chips fall where they may. I do not regret that vow and I have kept it as
faithfully as I knew how. I have also fled from those who wanted something else.

I also tried to do my homework. If everyone disagreed with me, I considered that I was probably
wrong. That took me to the masters, Calvin, Turretin, Bavinck [in later years], Witsius, Owen, the
Puritans, and a host of modern writers including Packer, Berkhof, Strong, Van Til, Murray, Hodge,
Tozer, Spurgeon, etc. Most modern books I didn't finish, for they tend to say the same things in a
shallow way, over and over.

Philosophy I found boring in general and not worth the labor, although I did read all of Plato and
dipped into many others. I was stimulated by Emerson as a young man, but rejected him for his
blasphemy. I learned much from literature and history. Tolstoi was great for a young man and I
discovered the darker Russians later in life. Shakspeare remains a fountain of inspiration as is Milton
and many others.

But the Bible towers so far above everything else that is differs in kind, not just in degree of
excellence. In it breathes the very Spirit of God and all in contained in each part in a unity that cannot
be natural or contrived. Even Shakespeare did not command such unity of thought.

Two non Biblical or theological books that greatly influenced me as a young man were Foxe's Book
of Martyrs [read in the summer following my 8th grade), and Whitaker Chambers' Witness, read
following my graduation from college. The depth of depravity revealed in these books and the hatred
of mankind for truth and goodness, showed me in no uncertain terms the need for a Savior suffering
for sinners and rising from the dead to discipline the race in godliness and truth.


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