As read on adrianwarnock.com this morning.
What foolish creatures we are! Many of us are not interested in doctrine at all; we are lazy Christians who do not read, do not think, and do not try to delve into the mysteries.
We have had a certain experience and we desire no more. Others of us, deploring such an attitude, say that, because the Bible is full of doctrine, we must study it and grapple with it and possess it. So we become absorbed in our interest in doctrine and stop at that. The result is that, as regards this question of the love of Christ, we are no further on than the others because we have made doctrine an end and a terminus. In this way the devil trips and traps us and robs us of our heritage. If your knowledge of the Scriptures and of the doctrines of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ has not brought you to this knowledge of the love of Christ, you should be profoundly dissatisfied and disturbed. All biblical doctrine is about this blessed Person; and there is no greater snare in the Christian life than to forget the Person Himself and to live simply on truths concerning Him.
It is for this reason that some of us have always had a feeling that it is dangerous to have examinations on scriptural knowledge. Some of the Reformers held that view, Martin Luther especially. Some of the Puritans also held it. There should never be such a thing as a ‘Degree in Scriptural Knowledge’. This is so, not only because it is wrong in and of itself, but also because it tends to encourage this tendency to stop at truths and to miss the Person. We should never study the Bible or anything concerning biblical truth without realizing that we are in His presence, and that it is truth about Him. And it should always be done in an atmosphere of worship. Biblical truth is not one subject among others; it is not something that belongs to a syllabus. It is living truth about a living Person. That is why a theological college should be different from every other kind of college; and that is why a religious service is essentially different from every kind of meeting the world can organize. It is always a matter of worship; we are in the presence of a Person.
Last weekend while at the Building Healthy Workshops was one of the first times I remember being at a church type conference and not being asked at what kind of degree I had. I must say, looking back, these pastors were a different breed of people. They were not conference junkies, they were pastors, more specifically, men of God.
I have been to events where people at these conferences, that when asked what degree you had and where it was from, would move on along if it didn’t align with their perception of what it should be. Too much emphasis is being placed on the school and piece of paper sometimes. It is encouraging to read a quote like the one above, that reminds us the real reason for attaining knowledge, and it’s not for a piece of parchment!