Sunday, April 26, 2015

Tim Keller on Scripture and Prayer

“More mystically minded people sometimes suppose that words by their very nature are an obstruction to the goal of a deep communion with God, but that is just not so.” If God’s words are his personal, active presence, [cp. John 15: 7]then to put your trust in God’s words is to put your trust in God. “Communication from God is therefore communion with God, when met with a response of trust from us.” Of course, there can be, in prayer, times of simple stillness in his presence, but even at the human level, “a man and a woman sitting in a restaurant gazing silently into each other’s eyes . . . are engaging in a much more genuine relationship if they are doing so with twenty years of conversation-filled marriage behind them, than if they are on their first date and have not yet spoken to each other.” 108       [cp. again Heb. 3:7  “…as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, if you hear his voice…’”]

“How are we to receive God’s words? They come to us in the Scripture. The Bible says that God will put his words in the mouths of the prophets (Deut 18: 15– 20; Jer 1: 9– 10). Once a prophet receives God’s words, they can be written down and can effectively be read as God’s speech when the prophet is not present or even after he is dead and gone (Jer 36: 1– 32). The Bible, then, is God’s Word written, and it remains God’s Word when we read it today. The conclusion is clear. God acts through his words, the Word is “alive and active” (Heb 4: 12), and therefore the way to have God dynamically active in our lives is through the Bible. To understand the Scripture is not simply to get information about God. If attended to with trust and faith, the Bible is the way to actually hear God speaking and also to meet God himself.”

-- Timothy Keller, "Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God" (p. 54). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.

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