The Conditioning of the Christian

We do not start our Christian lives by working out our faith for ourselves; it is mediated to us by Christian tradition, in the form of sermons, books and established patterns of church life and fellowship. We read our Bibles in the light of what we have learned from these sources; we approach Scripture with minds already formed by the mass of accepted opinions and viewpoints with which we have come into contact, in both the Church and the world…

It is easy to be unaware that it has happened; it is hard even to begin to realize how profoundly tradition, in this sense, has moulded us. But we are forbidden to become enslaved to human tradition, either secular or Christian, whether it be “catholic” tradition, or “critical” tradition, or “ecumenical” tradition. We may never assume the complete rightness of our own established ways of thought and practice and excuse ourselves the duty of testing and reforming them by Scriptures.

By J. I. Packer, Theologian.

 

Blog Note:

Acts 17:11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

This disposition is known as ‘the Berean attitude’. A positive attitude of mind to check things out.

Isa 8:16,20 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. 20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

Job 33:14 For God speaks once, yea twice, yet man perceives it not.

Mt 13:52 Then said he to them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, which brings forth out of his treasure things new and old.

“The New is in the Old contained, the Old is in the New explained” St Augustine

“The entire Old Testament is a great prophesy, a great type of him who was to come, and has come” 19th C. German writer De Wette

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