Escort to Love

I found this quote from an article John Piper wrote dealing with eschatology:

The longer you meditate on the writings of the apostle Paul, the more clearly you see that genuine, deep spiritual experience depends on genuine, deep biblical knowledge. I mean things like faith and love and peace and joy—these precious subjective experiences of the heart—depend on the mind’s apprehension of objective biblical truth. From a biblical standpoint, studying and thinking and knowing are never ends in themselves; they always stand in the service of feeling and willing and doing. The mind is the servant of the heart. Knowledge exists for the sake of love. And all theology worth its salt produces doxology. (Emphasis mine)

I think we need to especially keep this in mind when discussing the end times.  Most of us–myself included–get really focused on getting our doctrine locked down air-tight so that we can win arguments, and we forget that the whole point is love.  If we leave that out, we’re just a clanging symbol.

Josh

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4 comments
  1. great thoughts here. thank you for sharing. I have held this kind of view as well for a while, but to see it here crystallized was very helpful.

  2. Kelley said:

    Absolutely!
    This is where I’ve been turned off to eschatology in the past. Because I grew up in a very eschatologically focused(say that five times fast) atmosphere, I tend to shy away from serious eschatology study, since I’ve seen the adverse affects of focusing so much on it that love gets left behind.

    • joshuasiders said:

      Kelley,

      Exactly! That’s why I love that Piper has tied the two together. I figure that if King David is able to revel in the meditation of God’s law (Psalm 119), we should be able to use the whole of Scripture–including Revelation–as an escort into the love and adoration of God.

      I mean, consider this: Revelation is the Revelation (a.k.a. “unveiling”) of Jesus Christ. It’s a book all about getting a better look at the person, power, leadership, etc. of Jesus. Wow!

      This also means that Revelation isn’t mostly about charts and graphs, but about looking at and pondering Jesus. I’m all in for that! Charts and graphs are fine (in their proper place), but who can get mad at each other in a debate when the topic is the beauty of Jesus? The majesty of the Father? The power of the Spirit?

      So, anyway, this is where my journey with studying eschatology had lead me. I still enjoy diligent study, but the overall point is that if it doesn’t lead me into deeper appreciation and love for God, I need to reevaluate my motivations. It’s an escort to love.

      Josh

  3. That is such good stuff. I really like the statement, “Knowledge exists for the sake of love”. It makes sense of the idea that Paul talked about, that love builds up while knowledge (alone) puffs up. The two have to go together – the more we know (of) God, the more we love Him.

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