“Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge, for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, if all of them are ready on your lips. That your trust may be in the Lord, I have made them known to you today, even to you. Have I not written for you thirty sayings of counsel and knowledge, to make you know what is right and true, that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?”
The Lord appeals to us to pay attention to his truth. Note the strength and depth of the Lord’s appeal:
Incline your ear.
Hear the words of the wise.
Apply your heart to my knowledge.
This is not an invitation to casually listen to a sermon, read a summary of a book, or review a blog. This is an invitation to give your full attention to the serious study of God’s truth and “the words of the wise.”
Professing Christians in the 21st century need to elevate their study habits. We need a much deeper commitment to disciplined reading, research, and study. One of the most important books I have read in recent years is No Place for Truth, by Professor David Wells. The book is a critique of the shallowness of Christian thinking and theology in our generation.
“What is at stake,” Wells argues, “is the very life of evangelicalism. Theology is dying…because the Church has lost its capacity for it. And while some hail this loss as a step forward toward the hope of new evangelical vitality, it is in fact a sign of creeping death.”
Wow! Wells sees indications of “creeping death” in the contemporary Christian community. I fear that his assessment might be correct. In many ways the Christian community is losing its commitment to serious study of biblical truth and the important realities of our day.
Dr. Wells writes, “The disappearance of theology from the life of the Church, and the orchestration of that disappearance by some of its leaders, is hard to miss today … in the vacuous worship that is so prevalent, in the shift from God to self as the central focus of faith, in the psychologized preaching that follows this shift, in the erosion of its conviction, in its inability to think incisively about the culture, in its reveling in the irrational.”
It is time that we trust God and do the work of serious study of his Truth.