On Reformed Theology and Mysticism…
I am reformed…a lot. I think that followers of Christ have a responsibility to intellectually pursue God through His word and in doing so the result should be an awesome knowledge of His sovereignty and grace. I love to study and I love to teach, but my problem is that sometimes what I learn in study comes close to being purely academic.
I can distinctly remember some of my early growth after surrendering to the call to ministry being very experiential. Never chariasmatic, just much more emotional. I also had a touch of an admiration for eastern culture, so that bled in a touch. A strange shift happened, however, when I began to realize the truth of Reformation doctrine and the necessity of deep and passionate study in God’s word, the emotion began to wain. Now, I realize that God does not always utilize emotions and “fuzzies,” but there has to be a middle ground.
To study of God’s love and grace and grasp the magnitude of regeneration should be a mystifying experience. How can I know and understand that an infinite God would sacrifice Himself for an unworthy creation to regain the ability for fellowship with Him and not be brought to desperate emotion? There is something distinctly mystical in monergistic regeneration, that my transformation had nothing to do with me. That my will was set free by events that I had no control over. Reformed doctrine is filled with supernatural intervention that defies human understanding. The reformers knew this as did Augustine and the church fathers. There has to be a balance…knowing God intimately and intellectually and embracing the wonders that we cannot understand with passion and emotion.