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Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection

Theology: Ought Not to be Petrified Scripture

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Petrarch's works are said to have laid so long in the roof of St. Mark's, at Venice, that they became turned into stone; by what process deponent sayeth not. To many men it might well seem that the Word of God had become petrified, for they receive it as a hard, lifeless creed, a stone upon which to sharpen the daggers of controversy, a stumbling-block for young beginners, a millstone with which to break opponents' heads, after the manner experienced by Abimelech at Thebez. A man must have a stout digestion to feed upon some men's theology; no sap, no sweetness, no life, but all stern accuracy, and fleshless definition. Proclaimed without tenderness, and argued without affection, the gospel from such men rather resembles a missile from a catapult than bread from a Father's table. Teeth are needlessly broken over the grit of systematic theology, while souls are famishing. To turn stones into bread was a temptation of our Master, but how many of his servants yield readily to the far worse temptation to turn bread into stone! Go thy way, metaphysical divine, to the stone-yard, and break granite for McAdam, but stand not in the way of loving spirits who would feed the family of God with living bread. The inspired Word is to us spirit and life, and we cannot afford to have it hardened into a huge monolith, or a spiritual Stonehenge: sublime, but cold, majestic, but lifeless; far rather would we have it as our own household book, our bosom companion, the poor man's counselor and friend.

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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charles. Entry for 'Theology: Ought Not to be Petrified Scripture'. Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection. 1870.

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Thursday, October 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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