If you spend more than three minutes with me, you’ll come to the solid conclusion that I’m not particularly smart. In fact, you may come away from a conversation with me actually feeling dumber.
Now, lest (isn’t that a great word?) I be accused of playing the false humility card, let me clarify. I’m not a complete moron. I did well in college. I don’t go around sticking forks into plugs. But if it came down to me and Jonny-Smart-Guy in an intellectual showdown, I’d lose.
For the past five months I’ve been studying at the Sovereign Grace Ministries Pastor’s College and have had the opportunity to be around some genuinely smart people. I’ve been taught by first-rate biblical scholars, men who are intimately familiar with all of scripture and know the finer points of Greek and Hebrew. It probably wouldn’t be a good idea to challenge any of these guys to a Bible triva-off.
There seems to be an idea floating around in idea-world that guys like this don’t really love God. They’re so full of doctrine that there’s no room left for loving Jesus. How can they love God with all that cold, dry doctrine in their head? Just give me experience with Jesus, not any dogma. You get the point.
The critics should spend some time with these guys and then reevaluate their position. The truth is, these men are passionate about Jesus precisely because of their deep knowledge!
They know the contours of the Old Testament. They see the big picture of God’s redemptive plan revealed throughout all of scripture. They understand the connections between Matthew and Genesis, and don’t get freaked out by long genealogies. They are precise in their knowledge of scripture, and it’s this precision that causes their love for Jesus to burn white-hot. It’s their understanding of the animal sacrifices in Leviticus, and the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53, and the bloodied Savior hanging on a cross that causes them to weep as they consider the cross. They love God because they know God.
After all, it’s hard to love somebody that you don’t know.
And so I want to be like these men. I want to grow in my knowledge of scripture. I want to know it well, intimately, intricately. Not for the sake of knowledge accumulation. For the sake of loving Christ more deeply.