“Don’t abandon thinking” by John Piper

“If we were to succeed in raising a generation of people who give up serious, faithful, coherent thinking, we will have raised a generation incapable of reading the Bible. Reading is thinking. Either we do it carefully and accurately or we do it carelessly and inaccurately.

The problem with those who debunk the gift of thinking as a way of knowing God is that they do not spell out clearly what the alternative is. The reason is that there isn’t one. If we abandon thinking, we abandon the Bible, and if we abandon the Bible we abandon God.

The Holy Spirit has not promised a shortcut to the knowledge of God. He inspired the prophets and apostles to write in a book what He showed them and told them. In more than one place, He even said explicitly that reading the book is the God-appointed way of knowing the mysteries of God (cf. Ephesians 3:3-4).

Reading is the way we are able to think the thoughts of Paul and thus know the mystery of God. It is therefore futile counsel to tell the church that thinking is worthless. There is no reading without thinking. And there is no reading carefully and faithfully and coherently without thinking carefully and faithfully and coherently.

The remedy for barren intellectualism is not anti-intellectualism, but humble, faithful, prayerful, Spirit-dependent, rigorous thinking.”

–John Piper, Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 123.

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Filed under Bible, Books, Christian Theology, John Piper, Quotable Quotes, Reading, Think

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