Doctrine is for the sake of delight. Christian theology does not exist for its own sake, but for our desiring and enjoying Christ.
Simply put, the mind is meant to serve the heart. Thinking serves feeling. God gave us the ability to learn and reason, so that we might admire and treasure him above anything else. Right thinking is for deep feeling.
A Message for Every Human
Recently, John Piper addressed the students of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville. The audience may have been seminarians and Bible collegiates, but the message is relevant for any Christian, whether actively taking classes, and reading books on theology, or not. In fact, it’s a message relevant for every human. Says Piper, “Thinking about God is the necessary means, and treasuring God is the ultimate end of the human soul.”
Whether you’re presently pursuing some course of formal study or not, God wants to have your mind, and through it, have your heart. In whatever season of life you find yourself, even if the closest thing in your life to regular learning is weekly corporate worship, God means to sharpen your thoughts about him, for the purpose of sweetening your affections for him.
Piper’s specific charge for a season of focused study is “solidify the lifelong habit of thinking about the truth of God as a means of enjoying the God of truth.” In this 5-minute clip, Piper unfolds the heart of a truly Christian vision for theological education — whether in the seminary classroom or the local church. For more, see the entirety of the chapel message “Don’t Waste Your Seminary.”
This week, Desiring God’s *How to Stay Christian in Seminary is 50% off at Westminster Books.*
More on the life of the mind from Desiring God: