The Chair and the Desk, 9/29/15

From the chair:

14  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart 
be acceptable in your sight, 
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. 

-Psalm 19:14

I didn’t really feel like being a student this morning, but this psalm provided me with a timely scholar’s prayer. In fact, the whole psalm–rejoicing over God’s revelation in the world, rejoicing God’s revelation in his Word, and this request–is a great anthem for anyone who spends the day reading, thinking, discussing, and writing.

From the desk:

“For the sake of the texts, and this does not simply mean for the sake of preserving them, but in order to put them into effect, to carry them out, dogmatic theology is directed to reality; and for the sake of reality (and this means speaking to it in such a way that one corrects it and shows it in its true light), dogmatic theology is directed to texts which have been handed down.”

-Gerhard Ebeling, Theology and Proclamation, trans. John Riches, pp.30-31.

This quote refreshed me this afternoon, and it contains two reminders we must heed: Our theology must be expressed in the real world we live in, but it must also be driven by the Word of God. This sounds simple, but for some reason seminaries seem to foster the kind of thinking that only remembers one or the other, becoming too abstract to communicate anything or too relativized to say anything.

“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.

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