Facts religious and otherwise
"The true freedom from superstition is free service to religion; the real emancipation from false gods is reverence for the true God. For high knowledge is not negative, but positive: it is to be freed from the fear of the Many in order to adore and love the One. And not merely is this the only real knowledge, but no other knowledge "buildeth up" the soul. It is all well so long as the elasticity of youth and health remain, when the pride of the intellect sustains us strongly; but a time comes when we feel terribly that the Tree of Knowledge is not the Tree of Life...Separate from love, the more we know, the profounder the mystery of life becomes; the more the dreary and more horrible becomes existence. I can conceive no dying hour more awful than that of one who has aspired to know instead of to love, and finds himself at last amidst a world of barren facts and lifeless theories, loving none and adoring nothing." F.W. Robertson said that a long time ago.
It’s too easy to be duped into loving something rather than someone. More than one serious thinker whose relationship to God mattered supremely to him or her has noted that even when preaching and defending truth it became an end in itself rather than something God gave (and is) to set people free. No one loved truth more than Christ but when he spelled out his mission in life—the mission given to him by the Holy Father and in which he was sustained by the Holy Spirit—he said it was all about people and setting them free. He said,
The gospel is the voice of God that is heard in the healing of people, in the freeing of people and in the lifting up of people. The gospel is all about a Person and persons! It isn’t about some abstraction called "truth" but truth designed to redeem people by bringing them back to a Person. You will know the truth, the Christ said, and the truth will make you free. The gospel is God speaking in and through Christ and creating the elect in every generation (Ephesians 2:17 and elsewhere) and in the elect, as the body of Christ, he proclaims to the world that he has not abandoned it! The gospel is the loving Holy Father still coming to his sinful, wayward children as he did all those centuries past and telling them, "I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
Is it the gospel that gives us the buzz or is it preaching that does it?
Is behind the pulpit or lectern my "stage" and the gospel my "routine"?
Will my life end with my having discovered a world of barren (though exciting) facts and no life with God?
Preachers, teachers and scientists take note.