I love books and studying theology. However, this statement in Brennan Manning’s book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, gripped me with a new desire, as Paul said in Philippians 3, not just to know about Jesus, but “to know him.”
“Sheer scholarship alone cannot reveal to us the gospel of grace. We must never allow the authority of books, institutions, or leaders to replace the authority of knowing Jesus Christ personally and directly.”
Maybe the difference is like a travel agent who actually has visited the places where she books her clients rather than an agent who only have a brochure experience of the locale. The former’s passion for the place alone would outsell the later. For us, we are not selling, we are giving, and our passion is not for a place, but for a person. It is travel agent evangelism.
That passion comes alive when I am gripped by the extravagant, dying love of Jesus. Through his life, death and resurrection, I now am his. Totally forgiven. Fully accepted. Perfectly loved.
So may the light of scholarship, study, preaching and teaching be fuel for the fire of a heart aflame for this Jesus, whose heart is aflame for me. Oh, how I want to know him.