Should our Christian life be characterised by experience or by knowledge? This reads like a question that creates a false dichotomy. It assumes that an affectionate and experiential Christianity is […]
Should our Christian life be characterised by experience or by knowledge?
This reads like a question that creates a false dichotomy. It assumes that an affectionate and experiential Christianity is at odds with a rigorous, intellectual study of God’s Word, that there is a “divorce between theological and experiential Christianity”. “The Thinkers” are pitted against “The Feelers”. Adam Ramsey, in his new book, Truth on Fire, demonstrates that this disconnect is not only unnecessary but unbiblical. As such, a cogent understanding of God’s Word includes the conviction of the Holy Spirit; it is by gazing at the truth of God in His Word that our hearts sing with joy. In sum, this book captures the process of sanctification revealed in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
As for the structure of this book, Ramsey dedicates each chapter to exploring a particular attribute of God, pastorally applying it to our experience. Though this book is not a comprehensive study of God’s attributes, Ramsey’s brief outline helpfully points us back to a biblical Christianity that is both theological and experiential. The simplicity of his vocabulary, the brevity of each chapter (10-20 pages), and the memorability of his illustrations are just a few reasons why this book is accessible to anyone.
Finally, the goal of this book is to assist Christians to think rightly and feel deeply. This notion is epitomised in the concluding chapter: Reformation and Revival. Ramsey invites us on the road of a living theology: reconciling theological and experiential Christianity by gazing at God until our heart learns to sing in every circumstance. The Protestant Reformation in the 16th century began the process of reformation, but in no way ended its necessity. Moreover, the First Great Awakening in New England demonstrates God’s power to revive His people. Surely, we should not desire a revival in this generation. Therefore, the church in our day must continually be reforming according to the Word of God, such that many may be revived by the Spirit of God. If you have ever experienced the disconnect between your mind and heart, I commend this book to you as the first step on the road of a living theology.
- Koh Saito