Wisdom from the Masters

In the years following the fall of the Empire, Luke Skywalker began discovering the wisdom of previous Jedi Masters in an object known as a Holocron. The lessons he learned from these gave him an understanding of how to reform the Jedi Order. There, now you have a new Star Wars term in your vocabulary.

Today it seems that only certain books can qualify for imparting wisdom for the Christian journey. Unfortunately, these seem to only be books written within the last 20 years. Yet, there are incredible works that have stood the test of time. Books and articles that informed the likes of Luther, Calvin, and Wesley.

One of those is the The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis (As you can see it exists in public domain on the internet as well.) This was in my reading of Kempis recently and struck me as something to consider...
Some men and women pride themselves on being self-reliant. They are proud of their capabilities - and secretly think, I don't need to depend on anyone to help me. I can do very well on my own. In their hearts, they think that a person who relies on others - even on the Lord - is weak.
Do not trust yourself. For this will always lead you off on the path of your own choosing. And though you will accomplish many things, you will be apart from God.

A voice says, "Call out." Then he answered, "What shall I call out?" All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, When the breath of the LORD blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever. (Isaiah 40:6-8 NASB)

Maybe it is just me. But it does seem that the swing in thinking to put our experience over reason, tradition and especially Scripture, is a precarious trail to travel. I know that on more than one occasion (a lot of occasions in fact, just ask my parents) my faulty reasoning has led me into difficult experiences. Some of my experiences, have likewise resulted in faulty reasoning. Maybe it is just me but it seems good to know there is another on this journey whose words have rung true for longer than my lifetime.

May I Ask? What is it that you are trying to do on your own these days?

May I Suggest? Take a few minutes and write this thing down on paper. Look at it, consider it, then ask God to direct your path. When it comes up again, wash, rinse, repeat.


Anonymous said...

I've spent many an hour with this book. As a people who revere a book written thousands of years ago - The Bible - we should not get so caught up in the latest publishing fad.

Ken said...

It really concerns me how not Christianity but all of society, almost exclusively seeks out "the latest." I think this is why "Wesley's Quadrilateral" is such an important element of our heritage.

When we take the time to reflect on what we read in light of experience, traditions, reason and ultimately the Scriptural, there is a great deal of wisdom to be gained. It is one of the reasons I prefer Oden's Systematic Theology over others, because he reflects the full range of theology through the centuries, not just the popular or one strain of thought.

On a side note, like many other books, I think there is a time and place in our journey for them. I've tried reading "Imitation" before but just couldn't connect with. Now seems to be the time it connects with me. Anyone else have that experience?

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