Thursday, July 31, 2008

Personal Knowledge of God

In imitation of my friend, the host of, I will today post a quote that recently (about an hour ago) affected me powerfully. It is from John C. Puddefoot's essay in BELIEF IN SCIENCE AND IN CHRISTIAN LIFE. In a completely different language (philosophical) he says roughly what I was trying to say in a couple of recent posts about the Christian life.

"In the Church we are not concerned to produce congregations of biblical scholars or dogmatic theologians; we are concerned to impart the knowledge of Jesus Christ which can be received as his own personal encounter. Our efforts are necessary, but not sufficient to enable others to obtain an understanding of Jesus and the Triune God, and thereby to find life more meaningful, richer and less puzzling. A purely formal education which remains formal is susceptible to any attack which can destroy formal evidence, but by enabling people to acquire the non-formal skills of the Christian life we provide them with an endelible character, a character with which they can enver be separated from the love of God. Kowledge of God is personal, and personal knowledge is not made, but discovered. Personal knowledge comes from love, and love never fails. Love cannot be described, and relies upon no formal treasures which moth and rust can corrupt. The process by which the child acquires such knowledge unconsciously must be folloed by application of effort in the adult. By taking up the Bible and doctrines of the past into ourselves, and accrediting and reaffirming what we find expressed there ourselves, not because it is there but because we perceive it to be true, we find ourselves in continuity with a great crowd of witnesses living and departed who have searched for and in some degree found the love of God."

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