Experience & Knowledge

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My Christian heritage is one which values knowledge. This is both its greatest strength and its greatest weakness. Much of the modern-church is very experiential. Much of the traditional main-line church is very cerebral. It is my contention that we need a synthesis of both. That is the faith I follow.

You might ask why? Well, experience speaks for itself. There is nothing like a first hand experience. But knowledge? Why knowledge?

Let me illustrate this. For some months I have been suffering from depression. Depression is not feeling ‘blue’ or ‘low’. It is a cauterising of the emotions. You are not able to feel much except a gaping-void and the recurring fear that the ‘sky is about to fall in’. When you are like that experience, including faith-related experience counts for nothing. You don’t feel it! This is not a spiritual failing. It is a medical reality. During those times it is what you know that endures. For knowledge is not dependent upon feelings.

You are not estranged from God. God is as close as ever He was. You just don’t feel it. 

During these months I have worked. I have been off work. I have been half-at-work. However, during this time I have been inspired by God to write, and sometimes, deliver some of my best preaching and teaching ever. So God is there. I just have trouble feeling that.

If you are feeling depressed. Get professional help. It is not a spiritual problem. It is simply a medical one. And further, learn about God and your faith. This will serve you well if ever, like me, your feelings and emotions are squashed and dulled by the black dog of depression.

God bless you.


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