Knowledgeable, But Ignorant

“A man may be theologically knowing and spiritually ignorant.” -Stephen Charnock (unvarified source)

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Parables as Mirrors

What is a parable? Why did Jesus tell these stories? … He was using them in a way as mirrors. Every parable is a mirror that Jesus holds up before our eyes and asks us ‘What do you see in this mirror?’ And he judges and assess our spiritual condition by our ability to see the right things in the mirror. I have a friend who has been, over the years, a well-known Christian counselor, and I remember him saying on one occasion often when someone comes into see him, if a Christian comes in to see him, one of the first questions he will ask is, ‘Tell me which parable of Jesus you really don’t like.’ And you can understand why he says that, because if there’s something in a parable… that when you read it you’re irritated by it, then to that extent that parable has been a mirror that has revealed what is really in your heart.” -Sinclair Ferguson, sermon “The Waiting Father”

Change is in the Details

“When you get to know a person well, you know both the panorama and the details. But biblical change walks out in the details. The patterns, themes, and tendencies of our lives are what we see when, figuratively, we view our lives from the observation deck of the Empire State Building. From one hundred floors up, Manhattan and the Hudson River spread serenely before you. But the action and noise of life happens at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street, and when we take the Lincoln Tunnel home to Hoboken. The big stories of our lives are worked out in a running series of small scenes. This is how God has made it to be, but this is something that counselors and preachers often don’t understand. When you counsel (or preach) in great and good generalities, people will nod, but they rarely change.” -David Powlison