The talks from Saturday’s Conference are now available. Thanks to Cor Deo for making them available:
Here are some quotes from Mike’s talk. By the end of it, I was very close to standing on my chair and demanding that he continue, “For pity’s sake man, go on!”
“For we may look into his fatherly heart and sense how boundlessly he loves us, that would warm our hearts, setting them aglow.” (From Luther’s Large Catechism)
“The triunity of God is the secret of His beauty. If we deny this we at once have a god without radiance, without joy and without humour… and losing the dignity and power of real triune divinity, He also loses His beauty. But if we keep to this, that the one God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we cannot escape the fact, either in general or in detail that, apart from anything else, God is beautiful.” (Karl Barth)
“One main end of our calling is to lay open and unfold the unsearchable riches of Christ, to dig up the mine thereby to draw the affections of those who belong to God to Christ.” (Richard Sibbes)
And here is Mike’s sensational conclusion.
Delighted by God? Heartfelt Christianity?
The focus isn’t on our delight but on the God who is so delightful. The focus isn’t on our hearts but on the Christ who wins them.
And so, my brothers and sisters, look to Jesus who shows us the love of the Father and who shares with us the love of the Father.
Do not focus on any delight you do or do not have in Him. That’s not your focus. Look to Him who brings delight. Look to Jesus. United to Him – He is your status. Then your heart begins to thrill.
When you’re looking inside grubbing around for how delighted you are… well, you’ll just scrape yourself raw. Look to Him in whom there is all fullness. And be delighted.
Look to Jesus, else you’ll forget that God is a Father. Look to Jesus else you’ll forget that God is your Loving Father who accepts you in the Son.
For the refreshing of the church today, let us be a people who speak much of Jesus. Who lay open and unfold the unsearchable riches of Christ to ourselves everyday, to each other, for thereby hearts are drawn to Christ.
For, as Luther said, it is through Jesus that “we may look into God’s fatherly heart and see how boundlessly He loves us, that would warm our hearts, setting them aglow.”
I love trinitarian theology. I love affective theology. But the centre is Christ. In Him we see trinity, from Him comes heartfelt joy. Therefore Look to Jesus!