Work in Progress

Baseball, Seminary, Wrestling, and the Dreams and Days of one Mike Work's Angeles experience

Monday, August 04, 2003

Final thoughts for the moment rest upon the most recent book I have opened, Jonathan Edwards' 'Religious Affections.'

Written over a century ago, the work is still penetrating. Edwards deals with affections and emotions, their importance in the Christian's life, and the nature of true grace-filled emotions and what could be termed emotions of the flesh. To do so, he sets out a series of 'proofs' which, although they may be related to valid emotions, are invalid as proofs of the validity or invalidity of an emotion/religious experience. After explaining how these are invalid proofs, he proceeds to the second part of the work, in which he points to twelve guidelines that can distinguish between true and counterfeit counterfeit experiences, while immediately setting forth the disclaimer that these are not proofs, but guidelines only, and that reading the book is in no way a manual as for reading the hearts of others.

And in this section (of which I've only read four sections), the focus is on God as the source and recipient of such emotions.

Point two reads as follows The basis for all spiritual emotions is God's nature; rather than our own; spiritual feeling focuses on God and is not concerned with the self.

- Self-examination and its importance/time for action (JE, MD, JC)
- What does this look like?
- Planning to get away/take Saturday away and withdraw for 36-48
- do you want to get well?
- and knowing that this is impossible on my own. I need God.
- counterfeit focus on God is impossible, as I immediately withdraw and think about myself, or baseball, or anything but the Holy One of Israel.
- and yet I've been there, and I've seen the world through those eyes, those of another, that are greater than my own.


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