October 26: William Swan Plumer on Humility

Moment by moment, we must train our hearts and minds to depend upon the Lord, for we can so easily be rendered powerless and all our own efforts are found insufficient to deal with what comes against us. The Lord is our strength and our strong tower. In a word, humility is the lesson that should be learned. 

On the Utter Necessity of Humility in Theological Studies

plumerws02“It therefore becomes a matter of great practical importance how we shall treat the mysteries of the religion we profess to embrace. The errors on this subject are two. Some give up all that is mysterious as untrue, or at least doubtful. Others pretend to explain every thing so as to make it comprehensible. The former go in the open road to infidelity. The latter travel the parallel road of rationalism. If God teaches a truth either by nature or revelation, we err, just so far as we hesitate to receive it. There is hardly any better test of humility of mind than our treatment of inscrutable things in religion. Pride of intellect is very turbulent & delights in the persuasion that it is as God knowing all things. He, whose reason is never surpassed, whose reasonings are never confounded, whose philosophy is never nonplussed, is a poor self-conceited creature, who will in the end be found to possess only the folly of fools. Let every man love whatever his Creator teaches. If he cannot measure the azure vault above him, he may still perceive that it is there. If Jehovah hides himself, he is still Jehovah. If salvation is wonderful, God so revealed it from the first. Therefore, beware lest you come boasting rather than praying, lest you use great swelling words of vanity, rather than the fitting petition, ‘Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.’ (Ps. 119:18).”

Something for all of us to consider. And on that same subject, our readers may want to consult a new book by Christopher Hutchinson, Senior pastor of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church (PCA), in Blackburg, Virginia. The book is titled Rediscovering Humility: Why the Way Up Is Down. The publisher’s advertisement describes the book as:

A systematic and comprehensive treatment of this core tenant of Christianity, Rediscovering Humility is structured around the three times Jesus addresses the topic in Scripture—how it is found, embraced and applied. This insightful resource should be required reading for all seminary students so they can understand the pitfalls of leadership before they begin to pastor. Current pastors and church leaders will find Hutchinson’s critiques and suggestions helpful as they seek to create humble and healthy churches. Individuals who have lost an appreciation for humility as a central Christian virtue will be reminded of its value as the best way to grow closer to and more like Jesus.

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