Challenging Word to Pastors

I recently finished reading my first book of 2012.  (Well I am tempted to count it towards 2012 since I finished it on New Years Eve, after the clock struck midnight in Eastern Time).  The book is the recently released, The Pastor as Scholar & the Scholar as Pastor:Reflections on Life and Ministry by John Piper and D.A. Carson.  It is an excellent read, and is a must have for anyone with a foot in the academy and/or the pastorate.  I found these two evangelical giants’ experiences to be incredibly remarkable.    One passage that particularly struck me from was from the pen of D.A. Carson.  His words are piercing reminders of the dangers  that stalk evangelical scholars:

“So just because I study the half-life of a quark, a pileated woodpecker, the consistory records of Geneva in the years after Calvin’s death, the destructive influence of Richard Simon, or a Hebrew infinitive construct does not guarantee that I love God better.  In fact, it may seduce me into thinking I am more holy and more pleasing to God, when all I am doing is pleasing myself: I like  to study.  after all, plenty of secularists are fine technical scholars who enjoy their work and make excellent discoveries and write great tomes, without deluding themselves into thinking that they thereby prove they love God and deserve high praise in the spiritual sphere.  Nothing is quite as deceitful as an evangelical scholarly mind that thinks it is especially close to God because of its scholarship rather than because of Jesus.” (76)

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