by Brian Dempsey
For years everything I read came off of this shelf and several others like it. There’s a lot of amazing theology on this bookcase. And for years all it did was feed self. I could discuss the intricacies and nuances of the “deep” things of God, but my life was a train wreck and filled with sin. I neglected prayer, reading the scripture as worship, and didn’t have time for books on holiness, humility, and growing in Christlikeness (except to quote them!). I was LOST and spent 23 years a Reformed false convert preaching and teaching while living a double life of immorality, pride and self-righteousness.
As much as I love these books and authors, I was a stranger to the author of Life. If you find yourself gravitating to these kinds of books while you neglect the scripture, prayer, holiness, humility, love, etc, I would urge you to stop - examine your heart, repent and pursue your first love.
If you can read and study theology, teach or preach the great truths of the Bible and yet repeatedly struggle with habitual sins (immorality, adultery, pornography, self-righteous pride, etc) and go through a cycle of sin, regret, determination to do better, works, and then sin again... my friend, you may be lost. And I have learned that all the theological knowledge in the world cannot save you. The size of one’s library or breath of knowledge of spiritual things is not an indicator of spiritual maturity.
I learned these things the hard way. It nearly destroyed my marriage, my family. I hurt everyone I knew. Guard your heart, because even our own longing after God can, if we are not watchful, digress into a sinful, prideful self-focus that misses Christ.