“It is of great importance to note from Romans 1–11 that theology (our belief about God) and doxology (our worship of God) should never be separated.
On the one hand, there can be no doxology without theology. It is not possible to worship an unknown god. All true worship is a response to the self-revelation of God in Christ and Scripture, and arises from our reflection on who He is and what He has done.
It was the tremendous truths of Romans 1–11 which provoked Paul’s outburst of praise. The worship of God is evoked, informed and inspired by the vision of God.
Worship without theology is bound to degenerate into idolatry. Hence the indispensable place of Scripture in both public worship and private devotion. It is the Word of God which calls forth the worship of God.
On the other hand, there should be no theology without doxology. There is something fundamentally flawed about a purely academic interest in God.
God is not an appropriate object for cool, critical, detached, scientific observation and evaluation. No, the true knowledge of God will always lead us to worship, as it did Paul. Our place is on our faces before Him in adoration.
As I believe Bishop Handley Moule said at the end of the last century, we must ‘beware equally of an undevotional theology and of an untheological devotion’.”
–John R. W. Stott, The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today; Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001), 311–312.
Filed under Bible, Christian Theology, Doxology, Jesus Christ, John Stott, Preaching, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Romans, The Church, The Gospel, Worship
“I should rather like to attend your Greek class, for it is a perpetual puzzle to me how New Testament Greek got the reputation of being easy. St Luke I find particularly difficult.
As regards matter– leaving the question of language– you will be glad to hear that I am at last beginning to get some small understanding of St Paul: hitherto an author quite opaque to me.
I am speaking now, of course, of the general drift of whole epistles: short passages, treated devotionally, are of course another matter. And yet the distinction is not, for me, quite a happy one.
Devotion is best raised when we intend something else. At least that is my experience.
Sit down to meditate devotionally on a single verse, and nothing happens. Hammer your way through a continued argument, just as you would in a profane writer, and the heart will sometimes sing unbidden.”
–C.S. Lewis, “To Dom Bede Griffiths” (April 4, 1934) in The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis: Books, Broadcasts, and the War 1931-1949, Volume 2, Ed. Walter Hooper (New York: HarperCollins, 2004), 136.
Filed under Art, Bible, C.S. Lewis, Christian Theology, Communion with God, Creation, Eat This Book, grace, Jesus Christ, Joy, Literature, Love of God, New Testament, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Reading, Sanctification, Thanksgiving, Think, Worldview, Worship
“For my own part, I tend to find the doctrinal books often more helpful in devotion than the devotional books, and I rather suspect that the same experience may await many others.
I believe that many who find that ‘nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hands.”
–C.S. Lewis, “On the Reading of Old Books,” in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, Ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970), 205.