July 17, 2005

The Way to Study

He that studies only men, will get the body of knowledge without the soul; and he that studies only books, the soul without the body. He that to what he sees, adds observation, and to what he reads, reflection, is in the right road to knowledge, provided that in scrutinizing the hearts of others, he neglects not his own.
Colton, cited in The New Dictionary of Thoughts

NKJ Philippians 4:9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

It would have been amazing to witness the lives of the prophets and Apostles, to look at them intently and meditate on their actions. This is what the Apostles did in watching Jesus. They "beheld his glory" and pondered his words. They observed how he treated people, and how each word was spoken with wisdom. The sound, volume, and nature of his words exactly fitted the needs of the situation. The majestic character of Christ came through in everything he did, and his followers gazed upon him in wonder and adoration.

NKJ John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (possibly my favorite verse)

If you see anyone like him, watch them. Think about what they are doing and saying. Study them. Be transformed by witnessing their lives. Treasure up their words in your heart as Mary did with Jesus' words. This is how to study.


Sarah Flashing said...

Tony those are some great quotes! Your post reminds me of some recent thoughts...the sense of despair that so man of us "observers" and "reflectors" have in realizing that there is so much to read and study that we just cannot do it all. I feel a sense of despair for myself...am I alone?

YnottonY said...

Hi Sarah,

I am sitting next to my library of nearly 1700 volumes. You are NOT alone in your despair! LOL I am constantly reminded of what Matthew Henry said. He said that we shall not only be accountable for what we knew but did not do, but also for what we could have known but did not learn.

My post on Isaac Watts has an important qualification. Not everyone can study and learn as much as other people. We are each in different contexts and have different responsibilities. Therefore, Watts says:

"Thus it appears to be the necessary duty and the interest of every person living to improve his understanding, to inform his judgment, to treasure up useful knowledge, and to acquire the skill of good reasoning, as far as his station, capacity, and circumstances furnish him with proper means for it."

Keep that qualification in mind as a mother, wife and employee.

Many of us would like to be the best in what we do. I have despaired at times realizing that I will never be the best at theology. That's not what it's all about anyway. I am responsible before God to obey him in the particular station of life I am in. As a single person without children, I just have more time to study theology etc. Let's not forget what Paul said:

NKJ 2 Corinthians 10:12 For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

I think that's an important qualification as we study the lives of other peole. They are in different contexts than we are, and they are fallen. Rather, look at Christ primarily and at what God requires of us individually in our own context.

Gracie said...

sarah- don't despair, you're not alone in that department. Tony- I do think your blog information is accurate and well thought out. It is well written and I pray it will help the hypers and the like to see the big picture. The more I read your blogs, the more I’m convinced that there’s a lot I don’t know about hyperism. Keep up the good work.