Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Teaching of Truth

Beth and I have been reading "The Imitation of Christ" by Thomas a Kempis. Here's an interesting and good quote from it:

"If we were as diligent in uprooting vices and planting virtues as we are in debating abstruse questions, there would not be so many evils or scandals among us.... Certainly, when Judgment Day comes we shall not be asked what books we have read, but what deeds we have done; we shall not be asked how well we have debated, but how devoutly we have lived."

I love this. Now, I'm not trying to throw out the baby with the bath water--debate is good, when it is true to its definition. Reading is good. Debate, questioning, reading, evaluating, --even DOUBTING!-- etc., is good when it helps us figure out the truth of the matter, when it helps us figure out how to live devoutly.

But I think sometimes in the realm of Christian society, some people place more merit on how well they can debate Calvinism vs. Arminianism rather than on how well they love other people, how well they obey God, and etc. I mean, I do this.

Debate is fun--especially when the purpose is to assist us in figuring out how on earth we can love God more, how we can live in obedience to God, how we can love other people more. But if we place our ability to debate and to argue over how well we live our lives, I think we're missing the mark somewhere.

Believe me, I'm working on this too.