The first morning I sat in my office, as a young,inexperienced pastor, I prayed fervently that I would be kept an ordinary man. It was at that time it was impressed on me to make sure that those to whom I ministered recognized that it was their responsibility to ascertain the truth, or otherwise,of what I preached and taught.
It became a regular matter for me to remind those to whom I was privileged to speak, and I quote,"If you believe everything I say to you, without checking it against Scripture for yourselves, you are fools". I never ever received a complaint, or admonishment for that.
Dave Black recently quoted similarly, about which he commented,
"No truer words were ever spoken". :
" Danny Akin put it this way: "I don't care what you say. I don't even care what I say. The only thing that matters is the Word of God."
It was many years before I truly took my own advice, which reflects that of Danny Akin.
Dave Black, in his most recent comment, quoted Aeschylus, who write Greek tragedies, "It is always in season for old men to learn."
Having gone past my three score years and ten, and had that first prayer answered abundantly, I agree completely with Aeschylus, and find it hard to come to grips with the mentality of those of my contemporaries who are unwilling to challenge what they have traditionally accepted without question.
This same Greek also said, "He who learns must suffer,and,evenin our sleep, pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God".
Aeschylus is speaking about my own experience quite a few years ago as I struggled with the vain spiritualizing of the traditional status quo, and the reality of which Scripture spoke, a changed people from whom "rivers of living water" (John 7:38) flowed.
I am blessed greatly when reading the blog of Paul Burleson, a contemporary, who, like me, is an old man who has learned, and is learning, especially his recent offerings.
Paul's son Wade, has broken the mold. He is a young man, a gifted writer, who, no doubt has learned from his father, as well as through the hard yards of experience. His blog, reveals the man who didn't have to wait until he was old. His recent efforts have so much value.