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XXXV

The pathway to maturity and to solid biblical food is not first becoming an intelligent person, but becoming an obedient person. What you do with alcohol and sex and money and leisure and food and computers, and the way you treat other people, has more to do with your capacity for solid food than where you go to school or what books you read.

Piper, J. The Key to Spiritual Maturity

XXXIII

It is only a matter of consistency, of course, that we should not object to other people’s attempts to control the universe if we ourselves are practicing a religion that seeks such control rather than exercising true biblical faith. In this regard it is important to remember that the Bible itself was never intended to give us complete inside knowledge and understanding of the universe, so that we ourselves might exercise a godlike power over our own lives and over others. It is an amazing indication of just how deep our human rebellion against God goes, however, that the very Bible that tells us the truth about God, the world, and ourselves should have been so frequently used by Christians to fight power with power. We object to other people’s claims to possess the truth by asserting that we possess it instead, and all humility before God, who cannot be possessed and whose universe can never be fully comprehended by mortal beings, disappears. The Bible, we should remember, has not been given to the church so that we as Christians, rather than some other human beings, should behave like gods, knowing all things and being capable of all things. It has not been given to the church so that we can control “the times.” It is given only so that we may have sufficient light to live by, as we worship the God of mystery and wonder and move humbly through his amazing creation as the brief, mortal beings that we are.

Provan, I. (2001) Ecclesiastes/Song of Songs: The NIV Application Commentary, 184

XXXII

Biblical faith is not escapist. It does not advocate the evacuation of the mind in the face of unpleasant facts, the embrace of fantasy in the face of a harsh reality… the healing of our pain of which the Bible speaks requires us to confront reality rather than to seek to escape from it. One of these realities is death. It invites us to embrace that reality rather than to push it away… It invites us to allow the fact of death, looked squarely in the eye, to do its work in us. It invites us to allow the fact of death, looked squarely in the eye, to do its work in us. It invites us to pursue the question of death to the end rather than to pursue joy, and to help us to accept this implausible invitation, it claims that to make joy our focus is only in any case to know death now and also forever.

Provan, I. (2001) Ecclesiastes/Song of Songs: The NIV Application Commentary, 169