J. I. Packer's Knowing God. From the Forward, page 5.
Packer quotes from John Mackay's Preface to Christian Theology..
"persons sitting on the high front balcony
of a Spanish house
watching travelers go by on the road below.
can overhear the travelers' talk,
and chat with them;
they may comment critically
on the way that the travelers walk;
or they may discuss
questions about the road,
how it can exist at all,
or lead anywhere,
what might be seen from different points along it,
and so forth;
but they are onlookers,
and their problems are theoretical only.
The travelers, by contrast,
face problems which,
though they have their theoretical angle,
are essentially practical --
problems of the 'which-way-to-go'
and 'how-to-make-it' type,
problems which call not only for comprehension,
but for decision and action too.
Balconeers and travelers
may think over the same area,
yet their problems differ... "
Evil -- the philosophy of
-- or -- how to master it
Trinity -- How to think of it
-- or -- how to properly reverence them
Poverty -- How can God allow it?
-- or -- what can I do about it?
It is very easy to talk about problems;
it is difficult to enter the arena and fight them!
It is simple to play "Ain't it awful;"
"Too bad about those people ...
The government ought to do something."
it is difficult to roll up your sleeves
and get to work.
Romans 12:1 (from THE MESSAGE)
This is what I want you to do
(God helping you).
Take your everyday, ordinary life -
place it before God as an offering.
Embracing what God does for you
is the best thing you can do for him.
Don't accept so much of your culture
that you fit into it without thought.
Instead, fix your attention on God.
You'll be changed from the inside out.
Notice the two phrases,
"God helping you"
"you'll be changed."
These are not
"sentimental religious phrases,"
they are real.
Christianity comes about
through a God-relationship.
Knowing God, not just "knowing about God."
Traveling, not balconeering.
God-enabling, not in your own strength.
Life-changing, yourself as well as others.
When I was a boy,
there was a hymn we sang.
I did not appreciate it then.
I believe it -- really believe it -- now:
When you walk with the Lord,
In the light of His word,
What a GLORY he shines on your way...
Mine eyes have seen that glory...
de Colores John Burgeson, March 1997