2X4 Theology

“Experience has taught me that the Shepherd is far more willing to show His sheep the path than the sheep are to follow. He is endlessly merciful, patient, tender, and loving. If we, His stupid and wayward sheep, really want to be led, we will without fail be led. Of that I am sure” (Elisabeth Elliot).

I remember a pastor saying that the book of James in the Bible is like getting whacked by a 2×4. It’s not a feel-good, heart-warming book about how we really need to love each other more as it is a book that says things like if you say you’re not a sinner, you lie and you make God out to be a liar. BAM! Right in the noggin.

For me, I think a lot of older faith-based writers are like that. They will say things like how God is passionately in love with you, but they will also say that it matters how you live and not just what you profess. Their writings can be convicting as well as comforting.

I think we need to get back to that. Old school authors like Oswald Chambers, Elisabeth Elliott, Amy Carmichael, and Watchman Nee weren’t about pulling punches. They weren’t afraid of offending as much as in diluting the truth. I still say that it’s super helpful to read books on theology and Christian living by dead people. Anything from at least 100 years ago that has lasted all this time has merit. Are they 100% perfect and divinely inspired? No, but these books contain a lot of good nuggets that you won’t necessarily find in a lot of contemporary books.

So my charge to you is to read old books by dead people. You won’t be sorry.

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