Thoughts on the Way Home

Friday, December 19, 2008

Pink Vs. Newton: A Quote Comparison


A few days back, Mason posted about "the soul-crushing power of bad theology", using a quote from Thomas Watson to illustrate his point. I want to do something similar now, using quotes from A. W. Pink and John Newton. First, the quote from Pink:

Humility is learned by a daily smarting under the plague of the heart, and having its innumerable abominations exposed to our view. Repentance is learned by feeling the load of guilt, and the heavy burden of conscious defilement, bowing down the soul. Faith is learned by increasing discoveries of unbelief and infidelity. Love is learned by a personal sense of the undeserved goodness of God to the vilest of the vile. Patience cannot be learned from books--it is acquired in the furnace of affliction! It is thus with all the spiritual graces of the Christian.

Next, the quote from John Newton:

It is better to be admiring the compassion and fullness of grace which is in our Savior—than to dwell and pore too much upon our own poverty and vileness.

Brethren, here we have two radically different views of how the Christian life is to be lived, and how one is to "grow in grace". I would simply ask you, how does the New Testament itself teach us to grow in grace? Is it by constantly having brought before us our failures and vileness before the Lord? Or is it by fixing our gaze on Christ, and the blessings that belong to us in Him?

This is no small matter! How you answer this question will radically affect how you live the Christian life.