Thursday, August 16, 2007

CQOD: 08/16/07 -- Brunner: mysticism and rationalism

Christian Quotation of the Day

August 16, 2007
    At this point Festus interrupted Paul's defense. "You are out of your mind, Paul!" he shouted. "Your great learning is driving you insane."
    "I am not insane, most excellent Festus," Paul replied. "What I am saying is true and reasonable. The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do."
    Then Agrippa said to Paul, "Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?"
    Paul replied, "Short time or long--I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains."
    -- Acts 26:24-29 (NIV)

    By giving to Jesus Christ, the Man who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, this historical personality, the name of Lord, the Savior, we renounce all mysticism. For mysticism in the strict sense exists only where one soars above the sphere of history, and where in place of the Mediator and the historical event are put the inner word of God, the inner motions of the soul, in order to reach immediacy between soul and God, and, in the end, the identity of both. But while it is necessary to safeguard the Christian message of the Holy Spirit from the mystical misunderstanding by calling attention to its relation to Jesus Christ, it is necessary on the other hand to safeguard the message of Jesus Christ and His work from the orthodox and rationalist misunderstanding by emphasizing that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Spirit.
    ... Emil Brunner (1889-1966), The Word and the World [1931]

Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You have revealed Yourself to our ordinary minds and experience; yet we say, by Your Spirit, Jesus is Lord.

See Believer's Desktop Companion 2007

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