Smart Christian has been reading through Brennan Manning’s book, Ruthless Trust, and reflecting on it. I have enjoyed some of his comments on the book, and some of the quotes he has posted. This in particular:
Craving clarity, we attempt to eliminate the risk of trusting God. Fear of the unknown path stretching ahead of us destroys childlike trust in the Father’s active goodness and unrestricted love. We often presume that trust will dispel the confusion, illuminate the darkness, vanquish the uncertainity, and redeem the times. But the crowd of witnesses in Hebrews 11 testifies that this is not the case. Our trust does not bring final clarity on this earth. It does not still the chaos or dull the pain or provide a crutch. When all else is unclear, the heart of trust says, as Jesus did on the cross, “Into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46).”
It is interesting to note that Smart Christian points out in one of his posts, that “Although I know that some Christian folks find some objections in Manning’s writings, I am being deeply moved toward my trust in God’s everlasting love through insights and challenges in Ruthless Trust.”
Curious how we feel the need to put out disclaimers, or defend before others what we choose to read. This is just my opinion, and that is it. But I think Christians should read a great multitude of writers, and be exposed to all kinds of thoughts and writings, whether one agrees with them or not. I believe that we too often fear that a person may not be discerning enough in what they read, so then we want to play the Holy Spirit for them, and protect them from what they may come across. I think some hold on to this verse, “For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listenting to the truth and wander away from myths” (II Timothy 4:3-4). We are afraid that if people read certain things, they will be persuaded away from the faith, and taught wrong things.
Now, let me say this. I know there are some things out there, not worth reading. But just because a writer, theologian, philosopher, artist, etc., may fall outside of our denominational circles, or have a different Christian theology than your church, doesn’t mean they aren’t worth reading. If I were to listen to the advice of some of my professors at my Christian University, I would have not read Karl, Barth, Jurgen Moltmann, Henri Nouwen (yes…because he was Catholic), and on and on. It’s a good thing I read for myself, otherwise my thoughts, and life would not have been as deeply influenced as it has been, and as enriched as it has been by reading them, and many others.
That is my soapbox for now. Good stuff at Smart Christian, and I’m glad he is sharing it with us.