Wednesday, April 11, 2007
truth and actions
James suggests that faith without works is dead and 'love without obedience lies in a grave close by' (that's a Steve Court original - not the idea just the quote).
I've been reading an interesting book (hat tip to Sandra R) called Intellectuals by Paul Johnson. It explores the minds that have shaped the modern world and then examines their moral and judgmental credentials to give advice to humanity... it's quite a read. These intellectuals "are revealed as both brilliant and contradictory, magnetic and dangerous". Consider Rousseau who wrote extensively on raising children but sent all five of his own to an orphanage. Yikes.
Although it's easy to criticize them I've been struck by the reminder in my own life of claiming to follow Jesus but often embarassing God in the process. When my words don't match my life, I discredit God somehow and damage the weight of His Words to the world. Paul struggled with the battle of what he knew and what he did (see Romans 7) and all of us eventually must die to that struggle and live again to newness of life (see Romans 8) - where our actions match our words not because they must but because they flow from one another.
Often hypocrisy is used as a reference to Christians - clearly this book has recognized that the nature of hypocrisy runs deep within the human heart. It's a good reminder. I just want to be a sheep.