Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Why We Need the Puritans Today

I was reading a message preached by Charles Spurgeon on how to read your Bible and he made some remarks that i thought were very important especially as they relate to the state of the church today. In the last year or so, I have been reading alot of writings by the Puritans and it has had a huge impact on me. I had never been exposed to these men when I was in college or in any IFB church. Today's fundamental Baptist doesn't want to learn under the light from someone that isn't exactly like them. This is a disservice. Here's what Spurgeon had to say:

"How little of Scripture there is in modern sermons compared with the sermons of those masters of theology, the Puritanic divines! Almost every sentence of theirs seems to cast side lights upon a text of Scripture; not only the one they are preaching about, but many others as well are set in a new light as the discourse proceeds. They introduce blended lights from other passages which are parallel or semi-parallel thereunto, and thus they educate their readers to compare spiritual things with spiritual." - Charles Spurgeon

These men knew their Bibles probably better than any fundamentalist alive today. We would do much good to read their books, and sermons. The theology is so rich and convicting and draws all attention to God's glory and away from man's felt needs. In the climate of shallow preaching that is predominant in evangelicalism and fundamentalism, we all would do well to read the Puritans and see the glorious vision of God that they did.

"Some, under the pretense of being taught of the Spirit of God refuse to be instructed by books or by living men. This is no honouring of the Spirit of God; it is a disrespect to him, for if he gives to some of his servants more light than to others—and it is clear he does—then they are bound to give that light to others, and to use it for the good of the church. But if the other part of the church refuse to receive that light, to what end did the Spirit of God give it? "
-Charles Spurgeon

Who do we think we are that we can't learn from these baby baptizing Church of England guys who wore funny clothing? It's arrogant to think that we do not need to learn from them as if we have better insight into the deep truths of scriptures than they did. So, we don't agree with their views on Baptists have to only read from other Baptists? Theology to fundamentalism is like what integrity is to politics nowdays. We give lip service to loving the Word of God, but scarcely know how to interpret it or preach it:

"We must try to make out, as far as our finite mind can grasp it, what God means by this and what he means by that; otherwise we may kiss the book and have no love to its contents, we may reverence the letter and yet really have no devotion towards the Lord who speaks to us in these words. Beloved, you will never get comfort to your soul out of what you do not understand, nor find guidance for your life out of what you do not comprehend; nor can any practical bearing upon your character come out of that which is not understood by you." - Charles Spurgeon

Doesn't that last quote describe the majority of the KJV Only bunch? They kiss and worship the version without really understanding the doctrines that it contains. So, since there is little comfort, understanding, or guidance by the understanding of scripture, then legalism becomes the status quo yet it has no bearing on one's character since the Word is not properly understood.

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